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CCBAR Newsletter – June, 2012

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


CCBAR member, Natalia Gavrilova, gave an outreach lecture about biosocial survey methods at the tutorial session of the international conference "Demographics 2012" in Chania, Crete, Greece (June 5-8, 2012).  Participants were demographers, actuaries and statisticians from Europe, America and Australia.  

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

Ageing: A healthy diet for stem cells

Understanding how a low calorie intake slows ageing could revolutionize the way that we treat age-related diseases. One potential key to such treatments could be to enhance the local environment of stem cells. 
Neuroscience: Genes and human brain evolution
Several genes were duplicated during human evolution. It seems that one such duplication gave rise to a gene that may have helped to make human brains bigger and more adaptable than those of our ancestors.
Tumours: Less lactation may explain cancer rise
Your Outlook supplement on breast cancer (Nature485, S49?S66; 2012) does not mention the protective effect of breastfeeding. In most populations, this seems to be even stronger than that conferred by regular exercise
Why We Help
Far from being a nagging exception to the rule of evolution, cooperation has been one of its primary architects
Are sirtuins viable targets for improving healthspan and lifespan?
Although the increased lifespan of our populations illustrates the success of modern medicine, the risk of developing many diseases increases exponentially with old age. Caloric restriction is known to retard ageing and delay functional decline as well as the onset of disease in most organisms.
Genome evolution: Functional antagonism and human brain evolution
Bursts of gene duplication have occurred in the human and great-ape lineages, and human-specific duplications are enriched in genes expressed during brain development. However, the function of these genes in brain development is currently unknown. Two studies now show an intriguing mechanism by whic...
Cancer: Clonal mosaicism linked to age and cancer risk
Using genome-wide SNP microarray data from over 100,000 DNA samples in total, two recent studies have provided evidence that clonal mosaicism - the co-existence of cells with two or more distinct karyotypes within an individual - increases with age, demonstrating that our DNA changes in
Human aneuploidy: mechanisms and new insights into an age-old problem
Trisomic and monosomic (aneuploid) embryos account for at least 10% of human pregnancies and, for women nearing the end of their reproductive lifespan, the incidence may exceed 50%. The errors that lead to aneuploidy almost always occur in the oocyte but, despite intensive investigation, the
The cognitive neuroscience of ageing
The availability of neuroimaging technology has spurred a marked increase in the human cognitive neuroscience literature, including the study of cognitive ageing. Although there is a growing consensus that the ageing brain retains considerable plasticity of function, currently measured primarily by ...
Risk factors: Good news for regular coffee drinkers
A prospective study of 229,119 men and 173,141 women (median follow-up 13.6 years) has shown that coffee consumption is not linked with increased risk of cardiovascular death. Indeed, after adjustment for various potential dietary and lifestyle confounders, higher coffee consumption was associated w...
Documenting the birth of a financial economy [Economic Sciences]
The birth and explosive growth of mobile money in Kenya has provided economists with an opportunity to study the evolution and impact of a new financial system. Mobile money is an innovation that allows individuals to store, send, and receive money on their mobile phone via text message. This system...
Grandchildren of older men have longer telomeres [Evolution]
Telomeres are repeating DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes that protect and buffer genes from nucleotide loss as cells divide. Telomere length (TL) shortens with age in most proliferating tissues, limiting cell division and thereby contributing to senescence. However, TL increases with age in ...
DNA methylation in centenarians [Medical Sciences]
Human aging cannot be fully understood in terms of the constrained genetic setting. Epigenetic drift is an alternative means of explaining age-associated alterations. To address this issue, we performed whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) of newborn and centenarian genomes. The centenarian DNA ...
Low carbohydrate-high protein diet and incidence of cardiovascular diseases i...
Objective To study the long term consequences of low carbohydrate diets, generally characterised by concomitant increases in protein intake, on cardiovascular health.Design Prospective cohort...
Biomarkers Unbound ? The Supreme Court's Ruling on Diagnostic-Test Patents

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Why your aging brain is awesome
Google "the aging brain" and you will find a largely sobering landscape of cognitive deterioration. But that's not the whole picture. Experts say older brains are better suited to workplace creativity and innovation.
Obesity affects school performance
Obese children and teenagers face a slew of potential health problems as they get older, including an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks, and certain cancers. As if that weren't enough, obesity may harm young people's long-term college and career prospects, too.
Really?: The Claim: Eating Soy Increases the Risk of Breast Cancer
The phytoestrogens in soy products can mimic the behavior of estrogen, a hormone that fuels many breast cancers. But studies have found that the fear is unfounded.
The New Old Age Blog: Aging: A Collective Response
A new book offers ideas on improving neighborhoods for the aging from experts in finance, technology, architecture -- and, yes, politics.
Breast cancer risk reduced 30 percent in women who exercise 10 hours per week
All levels of exercise intensity reduced breast cancer risk, but women who exercised 10 to 19 hours each week showed greatest benefit
Early Human Ate Like a Giraffe
Food stuck in fossil teeth reveals diet and behavior of a 2-million-year-old relative
Low Vitamin D Linked to Weight Gain in Older Women
Older women with low blood levels of vitamin D may be more prone to pack on the pounds, when compared with woman who have adequate vitamin D levels.
Bariatric Surgery Cuts Heart Attack Risk for Years
Bariatric surgery is known to reduce heart attack risk short-term. Now, a new study suggests that benefit is maintained long-term.
Significant cardiovascular risk with low carbohydrate-high protein diets, exp...
Women who regularly eat a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease (such as heart disease and stroke) than those who do not, a new study suggests.
Effect of three common diets on energy expenditure following weight loss deta...
In an examination of the effect on energy expenditure and components of the metabolic syndrome of three types of commonly consumed diets following weight loss, decreases in resting energy expenditure and total energy expenditure were greatest with a low-fat diet, intermediate with a low-glycemic index diet, and least with a very low-carbohydrate diet, suggesting that a low-fat diet may increase the risk for weight regain compared to the other diets.

NIH Press Releases

Hyperthermia: too hot for your health
Hot summer weather can pose special health risks to older adults. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has some advice for helping older people avoid heat-related illnesses, known as hyperthermia.
Ability to estimate quantity increases in first 30 years of life
One of the basic elements of cognition -- the ability to estimate quantities -- grows more precise across the first 30 years or more of a person?s life, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Researchers chronicle the triumphs and tribulations of NIH founder
In the annals of medicine, Joseph J. Kinyoun, M.D., is a key figure, but one whose name many people have never heard. In 1887, as a physician in the Marine-Hospital Service (MHS) -- the precursor to today's U.S. Public Health Service -- Dr. Kinyoun founded the Hygienic Laboratory on Staten Island, N. Y., to diagnose cholera, plague, smallpox and other diseases that posed significant threats to public health at the time.
For young children with autism, directing attention boosts language
An intervention in which adults actively engaged the attention of preschool children with autism by pointing to toys and using other gestures to focus their attention results in a long term increase in language skills, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Children exposed to HIV in the womb at increased risk for hearing loss
Children exposed to HIV in the womb may be more likely to experience hearing loss by age 16 than are their unexposed peers, according to scientists in a National Institutes of Health research network.

NIH Announcements

PA-12-212   NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13/U13)  
Expiration date: 09/08/2014
PA-12-210   Renal Function and Chronic Kidney Disease in Aging (R21)
Expiration date:  01/08/2016 
PA-12-211   Renal Function and Chronic Kidney Disease in Aging (R01)
Expiration date:  09/08/2015 
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



2012 NIH Summer Institute on Social and Behavioral Intervention Research, July 9-13, 2012
Columbia University, School of Social Work, New York
Application Deadline: 11:59 PM Eastern, Friday, April 27, 2012


RAND Summer Institute, July 9-10, Santa Monica, California.
RAND is pleased to announce the 19th annual RAND Summer Institute (RSI). RSI consists of two annual conferences that address critical issues facing our aging population. The Mini-Medical School for Social Scientists will be held on July 9–10, and the Demography, Economics, Psychology, and Epidemiology of Aging conference on July 11–12, 2012. Both conferences will convene at the RAND Corporation headquarters in Santa Monica, California.
The application deadline is March 9, 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.


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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