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CCBAR Newsletter – July, 2012

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  

CCBAR Questions and Answers this Month:

Q: We are looking for information on HIV and syphilis tests using dried blood spots (DBS). Any references or suggestions on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Q: We are looking for information on HIV and syphilis tests using dried blood spots (DBS). Any references or suggestions on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

A:  Most HRS-harmonized studies of older populations collect DBS but, to the best of our knowledge, none of them conduct HIV or other STD assays.  The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), based in the United States, conduct harmonized HIV-related research in developing countries. See the following link to a detailed biomarker field manual:

The manual does not appear to provide specific detail regarding assay laboratories.  The DHS website is:

Additional related resources: 
"Evaluation of blood collection filter papers for HIV-1 DNA PCR"

CDC guidelines for HIV testing in a detailed Powerpoint presentation:

AddHealth collects saliva and urine samples (not DBS) for STD assays. Their website is:

DBS for HSV-2 and syphilis testing in India by John Schneider and colleagues: "Population-based seroprevalence of HSV-2 and syphilis in Andhra Pradesh state of India" BMC Infect Dis. 2010; 10: 59.

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

Contest to sequence centenarians kicks off
First entrant pins hopes on semiconductor technology.
Genome stability, progressive kidney failure and aging
Two new studies report mutations in FAN1 and three other genome-stability genes that tie the DNA damage response to progressive kidney failure and the dysfunction of several other organs. These findings provide clues to the underlying causes of tissue decline and may add a series of genes to the gro...
Behavioral dimensions of food security [Perspectives]
The empirical regularities of behavioral economics, especially loss aversion, time inconsistency, other-regarding preferences, herd behavior, and framing of decisions, present significant challenges to traditional approaches to food security. The formation of price expectations, hoarding behavior, a...
Support for agriculture during economic transformation: Impacts on poverty an...
This paper explores trends in poverty and nutrition during economic transformation and especially the impacts linked to government support for agriculture during the process. Analysis of multiyear data for 29 developing countries confirms that structural transformation raises total income and that p...
Association between psychological distress and mortality: individual particip...
Objective To quantify the link between lower, subclinically symptomatic, levels of psychological distress and cause-specific mortality in a large scale, population based study. Design Individual...
Psychological distress and death from cardiovascular disease
The association between psychiatric disorders and cardiovascular disease is often reported in observational studies, but the question of reverse causation has always loomed large. In a linked...
Neuroscience: Hormone linked to depression
A hormone released by fat cells that is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes could also protect against depression.Blood levels of the hormone adiponectin are positively correlated with insulin sensitivity. Xin-Yun Lu at the University of Texas at San Antonio and

Open science: Data sharing is harder to reward
Open science has won another powerful advocate in the UK Royal Society (Nature486, 441; 201210.1038/486441a). But freely sharing research results can have social repercussions that may be damaging to science.By confusing the allocation of scientific merit and potentially
Myocardial infarction accelerates atherosclerosis
During progression of atherosclerosis, myeloid cells destabilize lipid-rich plaques in the arterial wall and cause their rupture, thus triggering myocardial infarction and stroke. Survivors of acute coronary syndromes have a high risk of recurrent events for unknown reasons. Here we show that the sy...
Quiet Little Traitors
Cells that permanently stop dividing have long been recognized as one of the body's defenses against cancer. Now they are also seen as a sometime culprit in cancer and a cause of aging
Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond
New biomarkers sought for improving sepsis management and care
Ageing: Telomerase gene therapy increases longevity

Telomere shortening and the resulting cellular senescence promotes ageing in mammals. This study showed that administration (via an adeno-associated virus) of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) ? an enzyme that maintains the length of telomeres ? to old mice decreased the incidence of age-relat...
The place of genetics in ageing research
Rapidly increasing numbers of older people present many countries with growing social and economic challenges. Yet despite the far-reaching implications of ageing, its biological basis remains a topic of much debate. Recent advances in genomics have spurred research on ageing and lifespan in human p...
Ageing: Longevity by design
Sagi and Kim used genome engineering to explore how lifespan could be enhanced in Caenorhabditis elegans. As expected, the individual overexpression of known C. elegans longevity-related genes increased lifespan. Importantly, this was also achieved by zebrafish transgenes that provide biochemical fu...
Heterogeneity in racial residential segregation [Social Sciences]
We investigate the dynamic relationship between residential choices of individuals and resulting long-term aggregate segregation patterns, allowing for feedback effects of macrolevel neighborhood conditions on residential choices. We reinterpret past survey data on whites? attitudes about desired ne...
Will the revolution in genetics improve healthcare?
The new millennium has brought with it an explosion in genetic knowledge. Future generations are likely to look back at this time as the beginning of a new era in human genetics and health. The major...
Clinical and Biomarker Changes in Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Disease
Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration and Risk for Major Clinical Disease E...
Objective:To evaluate the relationship of 25-(OH)D concentration with the incidence of major clinical disease events that are pathophysiologically relevant to vitamin D.
Number sense across lifespan [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
It has been difficult to determine how cognitive systems change over the grand time scale of an entire life, as few cognitive systems are well enough understood; observable in infants, adolescents, and adults; and simple enough to measure to empower comparisons across vastly different ages. Here we ...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

DNA race to unlock ageing secrets
A race to unlock genetic clues behind living to 100 will begin next year, with a US team announcing its intention to compete for the $10m genetics X Prize.
Reducing salt 'would cut cancer'
Cutting back on salty foods such as bacon, bread and breakfast cereals could reduce people's risk of stomach cancer, experts say.
Make your 'rainy brain' sunnier
Why do some people flourish, seemingly resilient to all that life throws at them, while others are vulnerable and at risk of serious problems like anxiety and depression? Turns out it's your wiring.
Aging AIDS epidemic raises new health questions
AIDS is graying. By the end of the decade, the government estimates, more than half of Americans living with HIV will be over 50.
Curry Compound May Lower Diabetes Risk
Curcumin, the substance found in the spice turmeric that gives curry its color, may lower risk of type 2 diabetes, a small new study suggests.
Stress during pregnancy leads to abdominal obesity in mice offspring
A new report involving mice suggests that a relationship exists between maternal metabolic or psychological stress and the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome in her offspring.
Coffee could cut risk of skin cancer
A new study finds coffee drinkers could cut their risk of developing basal cell carcinoma - a common form of skin cancer.
Women with high-stress jobs may be more likely to have a heart attack
Women with high-stress jobs 67 percent more likely to have a heart attack, 38 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event than counterparts
Prostate cancer surgery won't boost survival in men with early-stage disease,...
Men with early-stage cancer who had their prostate gland removed were no less likely to die than men who underwent watchful waiting
Drop in prostate cancers seen after new U.S. advice
The rate of early prostate cancers among older Americans dropped suddenly following a change in screening advice from government-backed experts in 2008, new research shows.
Fewer docs screening older men for prostate cancer
Despite the controversy regarding whether most men should be screened for prostate cancer, many doctors appear to agree that older men do not need to be screened, a new study suggests.
Knee and Hip Replacement Surgeries Linked to Heart Attacks
People over age 60 who have surgery to replace a worn out hip or knee have a significantly higher risk of having a heart attack after their surgeries, a large new study shows.
Exercise May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's
Being physically active -- whether it's aerobic activity like walking or resistance training to build muscles -- can keep your brain sharp and potentially reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease, new studies
Childhood obesity linked to cancer risk
Researchers have found that obesity in adolescence, defined as a Body Mass Index in the 85th percentile and above, has a direct link to the incidence of bladder, urinary tract, and colorectal cancers in adulthood.
Aspirin could be a 'no brainer'
A mass-screening programme for 50- to 70-year-olds can cut the risk of stomach bleeds due to daily doses of aspirin, cancer experts say.
Anxiety over fears may speed up aging in women
Women with highest levels of phobic anxiety in study were similar on a molecular level to women six years older
Moderate Drinking May Help Older Women's Bones
Women who drink alcohol moderately may be doing their bones a favor, new research suggests.
Earlier-Term Babies, Slight Learning Delay?
Earlier term infants may have an increased risk for learning delays, a new study shows
Frail, older adults with high blood pressure may have lower risk of mortality
A new study suggests that higher blood pressure is associated with lower mortality in extremely frail, elderly adults. The study looked at a nationally representative group of 2,340 adults ages 65 and older. The researchers found that lower blood pressure protected healthier, robust older adults but the same may not be true for their more frail counterparts.

NIH Press Releases

NIH funds development of tissue chips to help predict drug safety
Seventeen National Institutes of Health grants are aimed at creating 3-D chips with living cells and tissues that accurately model the structure and function of human organs such as the lung, liver and heart.
Cognitive changes may be only sign of fetal alcohol exposure
Most children exposed to high levels of alcohol in the womb do not develop the distinct facial features seen in fetal alcohol syndrome, but instead show signs of abnormal intellectual or behavioral development, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and researchers in Chile.
Colleges and communities can reduce alcohol-related harm to students
Coordinated strategies that address alcohol availability, alcohol policy enforcement and drinking norms can help colleges and their communities protect students from the harms of high-risk drinking, according to a new study supported by the National Institutes of Health.
NIH scientists identify likely predictors of hepatitis C severity
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have identified several factors in people infected with the hepatitis C virus that may predict whether the unusually rapid progression of disease from initial infection to severe liver conditions, such as cirrhosis, will occur. Knowing whether a patient's condition is likely to deteriorate quickly could help physicians decide on the best course of treatment.
At AIDS 2012, Fauci delivers opening plenary on ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic
The robust arsenal of antiretroviral drugs and scientifically proven interventions now available to treat and prevent HIV infection offers unprecedented opportunities to make major gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS and ultimately end the pandemic, according to Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health.
Study shows colon and rectal tumors constitute a single type of cancer
1The pattern of genomic alterations in colon and rectal tissues is the same regardless of anatomic location or origin within the colon or the rectum, leading researchers to conclude that these two cancer types can be grouped as one, according to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project's large-scale study of colon and rectal cancer tissue specimens.
NIH tools facilitate matching cancer drugs with gene targets
A new study details how a suite of web-based tools provides the research community with greatly improved capacity to compare data derived from large collections of genomic information against thousands of drugs. By comparing drugs and genetic targets, researchers can more easily identify pharmaceuticals that could be effective against different forms of cancer.

NIH Announcements

Development of Minimally-Invasive Bioassays to Support Outpatient Clinical Tr...
Funding Opportunity PAR-12-238 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, encourages Exploratory / Developmental Research Project Grant (R21) applications from institutions/ organizations that propose to develop non-invasive (including but not limited to urine, sweat or oral fluids) or minimally invasive (such as fingerstick), methods to support outpatient clinical trials of pharmacotherapies for Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). The announcement has two main aims. The first aim is to encourage the development of devices / techniques that will improve estimations of a subjects consumption of an abused drug (i.e. both quantity and frequency of consumption) during an outpatient clinical trial. Such a system would allow the objective assessment of whether a medication reduces drug abuse, even if abstinence is not achieved. Proposed solutions should be able to assess systemic drug levels and be safe, portable, affordable and simple enough for subjects to take multiple samples at home and return them to the clinic for batch analysis.
RFA-AG-13-003 Secondary Analyses of Comparative Effectiveness, Health Outcomes and Costs in Persons with Multiple Chronic Conditions (R21)
Expiration date: 10/12/2012
PA-12-212   NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13/U13)  
Expiration date: 09/08/2014
PAR-12-186  DBSR  Macroeconomic Aspects of Population Aging (R01)
Expiration date:  10/04/2014 
NIMHD Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Initiative in Reducing an...
Funding Opportunity RFA-MD-12-006 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invites applications for this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to plan the development of effective interventions using community based participatory research (CBPR) approaches. Support will be provided to develop and strengthen partnerships between researchers and health disparity communities to plan and pilot interventions for a disease or condition to reduce health disparities.
National Institute on Aging Analysis of Alzheimer's Disease Genome Sequencing...
Funding Opportunity PAR-12-183 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The National Institute on Aging invites applications specific to the analysis of whole exome and genome sequencing data provided by the National Human Genome Research Institute Large-Scale Sequencing Program for the Alzheimer's disease research community.
Secondary Analyses in Obesity, Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R21)
Funding Number: PA-12-125
Expiration Date: May 8, 2015
Biodemography of Aging (R21), Funding Number: PAR-12-079
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014
Biodemography of Aging (R03), Funding Number: PAR-12-080
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014
Biodemography of Aging (R01), Funding Number: PAR-12-078
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014



The National Institutes of Health (NIH), in collaboration with mHIMSS, will host the NIH mHealth Training Institute at the 2012 mHealth Summit on December 1st and 2nd. The mHealth Institute is designed to provide behavioral and social scientists tools to successfully add mobile health technologies to their research in a collaborative team environment with mentorship from leaders in the fields of engineering, medicine and the behavioral and social sciences. This two-day Institute will provide participants with an overview of the central multidisciplinary aspects of mobile and wireless research. The training will follow a project from conception through dissemination led by a panel of experts.  Participants will be involved in didactic sessions targeting major cross-cutting research issues and interdisciplinary team exercises developing mHealth research projects.
In your mHealth Summit registration, request the NIH mHealth training Institute. Please note that there is an additional mHealth Summit fee of $100.00 to attend the training. Information about registration for the mHealth Summit is available at the following website:

Registration for the training institute opens on Monday, August 20th, 2012. 


2012 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 17-20, Denver, CO
Abstracts Deadline: January 11, 2012

Gerontological Society of America's 65th Annual Scientific Meeting, November 14-18, 2012, San Diego, CA.
Abstracts Deadline: March 15, 2012

Population Association of America Annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.
The 2013 Annual Meeting will be held April 11-13 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
Abstract deadline:  September 21, 2012


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

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