CCBAR logo

CCBAR Newsletter – July, 2011

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau

CCBAR 2011 Conference to be held Tuesday, October 25, 2011 in Chicago:

The Chicago Core on Biomeasures in Population-Based Health and Aging Research (CCBAR) at the NORC University of Chicago Center on Demography and Economics of Aging will host a fall conference entitled "Biosocial and Communication Technology-Based Approaches to Urban Health and Aging" on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 from 7:30am to 5pm at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago. Rose Anne Kenny, MD, PI of the innovative Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing will present the keynote lecture.  Other confirmed speakers include Cheryl Clark, MD from Harvard on the Jackson Heart Health Study and Bill Funk, PhD from Northwestern on minimally invasive methods for quantifying environmental toxin exposure.  Please contact Pleasant Radford ( by August 31 if you are interested in participating.

CCBAR member, Natalia Gavrilova, PhD, gave a lecture about biosocial survey methods at the international seminar "Mortality in Central Asia" organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Almaty, Kazakhstan (July 6-7, 2011).  Participants were demographers and statisticians (including representatives of governmental organizations) from all five countries of the Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan).  This lecture, building on several others given by Gavrilova over the last several years, prompted significant interest among participants.  Some Central Asian countries (Kyrgyzstan in particular) plan to conduct population-based surveys collecting biomarkers, so their representatives were most interested in existing experience of conducting such surveys in the U.S.

News from the NEJM, Nature Journals, Science, BMJ, PNAS and JAMA

The Evolution of Grandparents
Senior citizens may have been the secret of our species' success
Trial puts niacin and cholesterol dogma in the line of fire
Pulling down the plug on atherosclerosis: Cooling down the inflammasome
Atherosclerotic lesions can result in fatal cardiovascular disease, but what triggers the formation of the atheroma plaques and their progression still begs further investigation. In 'Bench to Bedside', Göran K Hansson and Lars Klareskog peruse how the NLRP3 inflammasome can be activated by choleste...
New approaches to disease mapping in admixed populations
Admixed populations such as African Americans and Hispanic Americans are often medically underserved and bear a disproportionately high burden of disease. Owing to the diversity of their genomes, these populations have both advantages and disadvantages for genetic studies of complex phenotypes. Adva...
Psychiatric disorders: The stress of city life
Social stress processing in healthy individuals is affected by city living and an urban upbringing
Demographic history and rare allele sharing among human populations [Genetics]
High-throughput sequencing technology enables population-level surveys of human genomic variation. Here, we examine the joint allele frequency distributions across continental human populations and present an approach for combining complementary aspects of whole-genome, low-coverage data and targete...
Will medicine ever be able to halt the process of ageing?
Anti-ageing medicine may not be the most well developed branch of healthcare and medical research, but one thing it doesn't lack is self confidence. 'Anti-aging medicine is the pinnacle of...
City Living May Shape How the Brain Processes Stress [Medical News & Perspect...
Adherence to a Low-Risk, Healthy Lifestyle and Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death A...
Context Sudden cardiac death (SCD) accounts for more than half of all cardiac deaths; the majority of SCD events occur as the first manifestation of heart disease, especially among women. Primary preventive strategies are needed to reduce SCD incidence.
Objective To estimate the degree to which adhe...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Sniffing Out Alzheimer's Disease
Australian researchers say they're a step closer to developing a simple smell test that may help predict which older adults will develop cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.
Boiling point
Is it a good idea to measure our stress levels?
News Analysis: Grasping for Any Way to Prevent Alzheimer's
Scientists have calculated that if people address certain risks, a significant number of Alzheimer's cases could be prevented, with the operative word being 'could.'
The Claim: Allergies Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Danish researchers found an association between contact allergies and a decreased rate of skin and breast cancer.
Can You Lower Your Risk for Alzheimer's?
A study presented recently at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Paris suggested that simple lifestyle changes might lower a person's risk for developing dementia.
Many Older Americans Have Mild Cognitive Impairment
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is relatively common, affecting between 10% and 20% of older adults in the U.S. and four Western European countries, new data suggest.
Secondhand smoke linked to hearing loss in teens
Exposure to secondhand smoke could affect hearing development in children and increase their risk of hearing loss during adolescence.
Study: HIV risks rise with some birth control
For the first time, researchers have found that HIV-infected women are more likely to spread the AIDS virus if they are on hormone-based birth ...
Do working moms put their kids at risk? What new study says
Two new studies undermine claims by some that children suffer emotionally when mom works outside the home
7 do-it-yourself ways to fight Alzheimer's
Up to half of Alzheimer's disease cases worldwide are potentially attributable to seven preventable risk factors, a new study suggests.
Short ladies have lower risk of cancer
A new study published in The Lancet Oncology found that the shorter women are, the lower their cancer risk. Or, vice versa, the taller women are the greater their risk.
Vessel-damaging activation of the 'intracellular waste disposal' mechanism fo...
Researchers have found that substances found in cigarette smoke lead to blood vessels' endothelial cells constantly digesting themselves. This permanent damage to the interior surface of the blood vessels leads, amongst others, to calcification of the arteries, as the recently published study confirms.
Screening for pancreatic cancer in high-risk populations
Researchers report in a new study that using a tumor marker, serum CA 19-9, combined with an endoscopic ultrasound if the tumor marker is elevated, is more likely to detect stage 1 pancreatic cancer in a high-risk population than by using the standard means of detection.

NIH Press Releases

NIH-funded study proposes new method to predict fertility rates
Researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health have developed a new statistical technique to forecast changes in fertility rates. The new method mathematically compensates for uncertainty and is expected to allow governments to plan more reliably for the infrastructure and social services needed to accommodate large-scale population changes.
NIH tips for older adults to combat heat-related illnesses
Older people can face risks related to hot weather. As people age, their bodies lose some ability to adapt to heat. They may have medical conditions that are worsened by heat. And their medications could reduce their ability to respond to heat.
NIH-funded study shows reduction in death for men with intermediate-grade pro...
Short-term hormone therapy given in combination with radiation therapy to men with early-stage prostate cancer increased their chances of living longer compared to treatment with radiation therapy alone, according to a clinical trial supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. Benefits of the combined treatment were limited mainly to patients with intermediate-risk disease and were not seen for men with low-risk prostate cancer, researchers say. The results appeared in the July 14, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine. The trial was conducted by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group.
NIH investigators discover new mechanism that may be important for learning a...
New findings in mice suggest that the timing when the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is released in the brain's hippocampus may play a key role in regulating the strength of nerve cell connections, called synapses. Understanding the complex nature of neuronal signaling at synapses could lead to better understanding of learning and memory, and novel treatments for relevant disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.
Receptor limits the rewarding effects of food and cocaine
Researchers have long known that dopamine, a brain chemical that plays important roles in the control of normal movement, and in pleasure, reward and motivation, also plays a central role in substance abuse and addiction. In a new study conducted in animals, scientists found that a specific dopamine receptor, called D2, on dopamine-containing neurons controls an organism's activity level and contributes to motivation for reward-seeking as well as the rewarding effects of cocaine.
NIH funds new research toward an HIV cure
Three research teams focused on developing strategies that could help to rid the body of HIV are receiving grants totaling more than $14 million a year, for up to five years, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health announced today.
Federal report shows drop in adolescent birth rate
The adolescent birth rate declined for the second consecutive year, preterm births declined for the third consecutive year, adolescent injury deaths declined, and fewer 12th graders binge drank, according to the federal government's annual statistical report on the well-being of the nation's children and youth.
Thinking globally to improve mental health
Mental health experts are calling for a greater world focus on improving access to care and treatment for mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders, as well as increasing discoveries in research that will enable this goal to be met.
NIH effort seeks to identify measures of nutritional status
The National Institutes of Health has undertaken a new program to discover, develop and distribute measures of nutritional status. The Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) Program brings together experts in the field of nutrition to provide advice to researchers, clinicians, program- and policymakers, on the role of food and nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention.

NIH Announcements

T1 Translational Research: Novel interventions for prevention and treatment of age-related conditions (R21) 2011/07/25 - 2014/09/08
T2 Translational Research: Research leading to new health care practices, community programs and policies affecting older persons (R21) 2011/07/25 - 2014/09/08
Leveraging Existing Data or Longitudinal Studies to Evaluate Safety and Effectiveness of Pharmacological Management of Chronic Pain in Older Adults (R03)  2011/07/19 - 2011/11/04
Specialized Centers of Research (SCOR) on Sex Differences (P50)
Funding Opportunity RFA-OD-11-003 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The ORWH and participating organizations and institutes seek to expand the Specialized Centers of Interdisciplinary Research (SCOR) on Sex Differences. These centers will provide opportunities for interdisciplinary approaches to advancing studies in sex differences research. Each SCOR should develop a research agenda bridging basic and clinical research underlying a health issue that affects women.
Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration (EUREKA)...
Funding Opportunity RFA-NS-12-005 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This FOA solicits Research Project Grant (R01) applications from institutions/organizations proposing exceptionally innovative research on novel hypotheses or difficult problems, solutions to which would have an extremely high impact on biomedical or biobehavioral research in the epilepsies. This FOA is for support of new projects, not continuation of projects that have already been initiated. It does not support pilot projects, i.e., projects of limited scope that are designed primarily to generate data that will enable the PD/PI to seek other funding opportunities. Interventional clinical trials are also not appropriate for this FOA.
NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards FY 2011
Notice NOT-OD-11-068 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
NIMHD Health Disparities Research (R01)
Funding Opportunity RFA-MD-12-001 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit innovative research that can directly and demonstrably contribute to the elimination of health disparities. Research aims may include, but are not limited to, biological mechanisms; behavioral strategies; lifestyle factors; environmental, structural, and economic factors; cultural and family influences; delivery system interventions; medical procedures and regimens (including alternative therapy), and medical assistive devices and health information technologies. Projects may involve primary data collection or secondary analysis of existing datasets.



The 7th Chicago Core on Biomeasures in Population-Based Health and Aging Research Conference will be held in Chicago Gleacher Center, October 25, 2011
Please contact Pleasant Radford (  by August 31 if you would like to present or participate in the conference. 

Gerontological Society of America's 64th Annual Scientific Meeting, November 18-22, 2011, Boston Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA.
Abstracts Deadline: March 15, 2011

Population Association of America Annual meeting, San Francisco, CA. The 2012 Annual Meeting will be held May 3-5 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel. The 2012 Call for Papers will be available at the end of July,

This Newsletter  is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (Grant No. 5 P30 AG012857)

If you would like to unsubscribe please notify us at