CCBAR logo

CCBAR Newsletter – November, 2011

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau


The 7th Interdisciplinary Conference on Biomeasures in Population-based Health and Aging Research was held October 25, 2011 at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center.  Of 11 participants who completed meeting evaluations, most found the scientific content of this conference very helpful in their work giving high evaluation scores ranging from 4.4 to 4.9 (on the 5-point scale). Participants responding to the conference evaluation survey found Session 6 "Neighborhood Effects on Health" and Session 5 "Neighborhood Disadvantage and Cardiometabolic Risks in the Jackson Heart Study" to be of particular interest. For more information on the workshop (including the conference agenda) please visit the CCBAR website at: or contact Pleasant Radford, Jr. ( with questions.  CCBAR is working on posting video and powerpoint highlights.

Natalia Gavrilova participated in the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America held November 18-22, 2011 in Boston, MA. She gave three presentations at the meeting, including a talk on demographic consequences of life extension at Interest Group Session "Societal consequences of delaying aging." This year the GSA meeting had a record number of participants (over 3,500), which reflect a growing importance of this area of research.

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

Neuroscience: Stress speeds up brain degeneration
Prolonged stress may accelerate neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease by exacerbating the build-up of damaging proteins in the brain.John Trojanowski at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and his colleagues studied mice that had been engineer...
Stem-cell pioneer bows out
Geron halts first-of-its-kind clinical trial for spinal therapy.
Evolutionary biology: The path to sociality
A comparative analysis traces the trajectory of change in social organization among primates and establishes a firm foundation for modelling the origins of social complexity.
Ageing: Old cells under attack
Age brings not just wisdom, but also, alas, many traits that to most of us are much less attractive. It now seems that, at least in mice, clearance of senescent cells delays some of the maladies associated with ageing.
Risk-takers wanted
Treating costly conditions such as Alzheimer's disease may soon collapse healthcare systems around the world, yet companies hesitate to invest in the long, large clinical trials required to discover disease-modifying therapies. New incentives are necessary to turn this tide.
Molecular mechanisms of cancer development in obesity
The increasing incidence of obesity and its co-morbid conditions poses a great challenge to global health. In addition to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, epidemiological data demonstrate a link between obesity and multiple types of cancer. The molecular mechanisms underlying how obesity causes ...
Epigenetics: Inheriting a long life
The epigenome is traditionally viewed as being 'reset' on passage through the germline. However, in a handful of cases, transgenerational inheritance of epigenetic information can occur, although there is limited molecular understanding of these events. Now, researchers have found that longevity can...
[Report] Stress-Related Noradrenergic Activity Prompts Large-Scale Neural Net...
Acute stress leads to reorganization of large-scale neural network connectivity in the brain that is driven by noradrenaline.
Trend for US patients to seek health information from media and internet is s...
Patients in the United States were less likely to seek health information from sources other than their doctor in 2010 than in 2007, concludes a new survey.Only half (50%) of the 17,000 people who participated in the telephone survey said they had sought out such information over the past 12 months,...
Stepwise evolution of stable sociality in primates
Although much attention has been focused on explaining and describing the diversity of social grouping patterns among primates, less effort has been devoted to understanding the evolutionary history of social living. This is partly because social behaviours do not fossilize, making it difficult to i...
Clearance of p16Ink4a-positive senescent cells delays ageing-associated disor...
Advanced age is the main risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional deficits in humans, but the fundamental mechanisms that drive ageing remain largely unknown, impeding the development of interventions that might delay or prevent age-related disorders and maximize healthy lifespan. Cellul...
Alzheimer disease: Benefits of an insulin nasal spray in Alzheimer disease an...
The results of a pilot trial indicate that insulin, delivered intranasally, can preserve or even improve cognition and functional abilities in patients with Alzheimer disease or amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Over a 4-month period, patients receiving a daily 20 IU intranasal dose of insulin exh...
Toward an experimental exploration of the complexity of human social interact...
Few colleagues would debate that the complexity of human cooperation is unmatched in the animal kingdom. There are strong arguments that the complexity of our social life is tightly linked to the evolution of our large brain, particularly the neocortex (1). However, this view has only partly been te...
To qualify as a social partner, humans hide severe punishment, although their...
Conflicts of interest between the community and its members are at the core of human social dilemmas. If observed selfishness has future costs, individuals may hide selfish acts but display altruistic ones, and peers aim at identifying the most selfish persons to avoid them as future social partners...
Cognitive gains of later life are important clinically
Richards and Hatch recognise that simultaneous growth in and loss of cognitive ability occur at all ages.1 Growth is harder to measure than loss in later life largely because the psychometric instruments were developed to detect disability in younger people. Similarly, an early use of IQ tests was t...
Effects of the CETP Inhibitor Evacetrapib Administered as Monotherapy or in C...
Interest remains high in cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors as cardioprotective agents. Few studies have documented the efficacy and safety of CETP inhibitors in combination with commonly used statins. Objective: To examine the biochemical effects, safety, and tolerability o...
Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke: Meeting the Challenge [Comme...
The Cardiovascular Biomarker Conundrum: Challenges and Solutions [Commentary]
Detours on the Road to Personalized Medicine: Barriers to Biomarker Validatio...
Urinary Sodium and Potassium Excretion and Risk of Cardiovascular Events [Ori...
The precise relationship between sodium and potassium intake and cardiovascular (CV) risk remains uncertain, especially in patients with CV disease.
Objective: To determine the association between estimated urinary sodium and potassium excretion (surrogates for intake) and CV events in patien...
Canned Soup Consumption and Urinary Bisphenol A: A Randomized Crossover Trial...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

For Heart Health, Less Sodium Isn't Always Better
A study of 28,880 people showed that people who consumed too little sodium were at greater risk for heart problems than people who took in a moderate amount.
Personal Health: Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Cause Symptoms That Mimic Aging
Low levels of the essential vitamin can bring on symptoms including muscle weakness, fatigue, shakiness, unsteady gait, incontinence, low blood pressure and depression.
Vital Signs: Geography Affects Heart Disease Risk, Study Suggests
Women in the Southeast and Appalachia are found to have the highest levels of markers that signal a risk of heart problems.
Vital Signs: Researchers Link TCE Solvent to Increased Risk of Parkinson's
TCE, a solvent widely used in refrigerants and as a metal degreaser, is associated with an increased risk of Parkinson's disease, researchers have found.
Sugary drinks tied to heart disease in women: What about men?
Study shows increased heart risk among soda drinkers - even in absence of weight gain
1 in 5 in U.S. now suffers from hearing loss
More than 48 million people in the U.S. have significant hearing loss, far more than previously estimated, according to a first-ever national survey of people ages 12 and older who had their hearing testing. Testing  and treatment are vital, researchers say.
Body Language Reveals 'Empathy Gene'
A new study suggests empathetic body language and behavior are linked to a genetic variation associated with sociability.
High Uric Acid Linked to Both Gout and Diabetes
New studies show that high uric acid levels in the blood are associated with a nearly 20% increased risk of developing diabetes and a more than 40% increased risk of developing kidney disease.
Smiling Makes You Look Younger
A new study showed that when people looked at photos of happy faces, they guessed the age of the person in the photo as younger than in photos of the same person with a neutral or angry expression.
Contraceptive pill associated with increased prostate cancer risk worldwide, ...
Use of the contraceptive pill is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer around the globe, new research finds.
AMD-like lesions delayed in mice fed lower glycemic index diet
Feeding older mice a lower glycemic index diet delays the onset of age-related, sight-threatening retinal lesions. Mice put on a higher GI diet demonstrated elevated accumulations of debris known as advanced glycation end products in the whole retina, particularly in the cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The RPE plays a crucial role in maintaining vision and its dysfunction results in the gradual vision loss that is the hallmark of age-related macular degeneration.
Risk of contracting diabetes to increase in world of 7 billion people
World citizen number seven billion is less likely to die from infectious diseases like measles or even AIDS, and more likely to contract diabetes or other non-communicable diseases, as they are now the leading causes of deaths globally.
Every mouse is different: How mouse 'personality' sheds light on human depres...
Just as in humans, there are also the tough types or those with a more delicate personality among mice, researchers confirm. Some adopt an active strategy when faced with stressful situations and somehow try to tackle the problem, whereas others display a passive attitude. Those in the second group are more vulnerable: some of the physiological characteristics resemble those attributed to human depression.
Depression in young people increases risk of heart disease mortality
The negative effects of depression in young people on the health of their hearts may be stronger than previously recognized. Depression or a history of suicide attempts in people younger than 40, especially young women, markedly increases their risk for dying from heart disease.
Eating fish can reduce the risk of diabetes, study suggests
A study analyses the dietary patterns of the adult Spanish population with high cardiovascular risk. The results reveal a high consumption of both red meat and fish. However, whilst eating lots of cured meats is associated with greater weight gain and a higher obesity rate, the consumption of fish is linked to lower glucose concentrations and a smaller risk of developing diabetes.
Birth weight predicts physical functioning at age 60
Low birth weight and slow growth progressing to greater body mass in pre-adolescence significantly increased the risk of poor physical functioning at the age of 60 years, a new Finnish study found.
Niacin-Statin Combo Offers No Benefit, Study Finds
Niacin, in combination with a cholesterol-lowering statin, didn't lower the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular 'event,' and actually slightly increased the risk of strokes, according to a study in this week's New England Journal of Medicine. As a result, the...
Study: Sex Puts a Shine on Golden Years
The more often older people have sex, the more likely they are to be happy with life and enjoy a good marriage, a small study shows.
Aging stem cells may explain higher prevalence of leukemia, infections among ...
Human stem cells aren't immune to the aging process, according to scientists. Researchers studied hematopoietic stem cells, which create the cells that comprise the blood and immune system. Understanding when and how these stem cells begin to falter as the years pass may explain why some diseases, such as acute myeloid leukemia, increase in prevalence with age, and also why elderly people tend to be more vulnerable to infections such as colds and the flu.
Coffee May Cut Endometrial Cancer Risk
Long-time coffee fans who drink four or more cups a day of caffeinated coffee may be reducing their endometrial cancer risk by 30%, a new study shows.
Study Links Stress To Breast Cancer
Stressed out? You might want to get it in check. Chicago researchers say stress could be a new risk factor for breast cancer.
Cancer-Fighting Cells Get Boost From Viagra
Scientists in Germany genetically engineered mice to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and found that when these mice were given Viagra in their drinking water, they lived twice as long as untreated mice.

Study looks at the nature of change in our aging, changing brains
As we get older, our cognitive abilities change, improving when we're younger and declining as we age. Scientists posit a hierarchical structure within which these abilities are organized. There's the "lowest" level -- measured by specific tests, such as story memory or word memory; the second level, which groups various skills involved in a category of cognitive ability, such as memory, perceptual speed, or reasoning; and finally, the "general," or G, factor, a sort of statistical aggregate of ...

NIH Press Releases

Mouse study explains bacterium's unique role in periodontitis
Scientists say they have solved in mice the mystery of how an unusual bacterium can trigger the common dental condition periodontitis while residing in low numbers in the space between tooth and gum.
NIH answers call to streamline technology transfer process
The National Institutes of Health is launching the electronic Research Materials catalogue (eRMa) to streamline the federal government's technology transfer process. This project addresses one of the important directives in a Presidential memorandum related to the commercialization of federal research and support for high-growth business potential. eRMa was designed and developed by the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) at NIH with support from the NIH's National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research.
Cholesterol levels elevated in toddlers taking anti-HIV drugs
Toddlers receiving anti-HIV drugs have higher cholesterol levels, on average, than do their peers who do not have HIV, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.
COPD awareness continues to rise, new NIH survey finds
Awareness of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), the nation's third leading killer, continues to rise in the United States, according to the results of a Web-based survey released today by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.
NIH-commissioned Census Bureau report describes oldest Americans
In 1980, there were 720,000 people aged 90 and older in the United States. In 2010, there were 1.9 million people aged 90 and older; by 2050, the ranks of people 90 and older may reach 9 million, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health.
Delayed stem cell therapy following heart attack is safe but not effective
Stem cells obtained from bone marrow, known as BMCs, can be safely injected into people 2-3 weeks following a heart attack, reports a new clinical trial supported by the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health. However, while safe, the BMCs did not improve heart function six months after their administration.
NIH-funded twin study finds occupational chemical exposure may be linked to P...
A new research report contributes to the increasing evidence that repeated occupational exposure to certain chemical solvents raises the risk for Parkinson's disease.
Updated NIH Sleep Disorders Research Plan seeks to promote and protect sleep ...
Building on scientific advances that link sleep problems to health and safety risks, the National Institutes of Health today released the 2011 NIH Sleep Disorders Research Plan.

NIH Announcements

Limited Competition: Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (U19)
Funding Opportunity RFA-AG-13-001 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This limited competition FOA is to continue the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) as the pre-eminent Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical trials consortium. The purpose of this FOA is to solicit the renewal application for the next 5-year cycle of the ADCS. The goals of this next phase are to continue to advance research in the development of interventions that might be useful for treating, delaying, or preventing AD, particularly interventions that might not be developed by industry.
Implications of the Economic Downturn for Health, Wealth, and Work at Older Ages (R01)
Expiration Date: January 8, 2015
Behavioral Interventions to Address Multiple Chronic Health Conditions in Primary Care (R01)
Expiration Date: January 8, 2014
Small Grants Program for Cancer Epidemiology (R03)
Funding Opportunity PAR-12-039 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), issued by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), encourages the submission of Small Research Grant (R03) applications for research on cancer etiology and epidemiology. The overarching goal of this FOA is to provide support for pilot projects, testing of new techniques, secondary analyses of existing data, development and validation of measurement methods, linkage of genetic polymorphisms with other variables related to cancer risk, and development of innovative projects for more comprehensive research in cancer etiology and epidemiology.
Limited Competition: Archiving and Dissemination of Research Data on Aging (P30)
Funding Opportunity RFA-AG-12-013 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this FOA is to continue the P30 Center Grant to 1) maintain the existing collections of the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging and develop it further as a user-friendly data archive to support behavioral and social science research on aging; 2) advise and assist researchers in documentation and archiving of data and metadata; 3) advise and assist researchers on methods of sharing data for secondary analysis while providing adequate protections for confidentiality; and 4) facilitate secondary analysis by providing user support, access to data, and training and consultation.
Economic Studies Ancillary to Completed or Ongoing Health Care Delivery and F...
Funding Opportunity RFA-RM-11-023 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits applications for Research Project (R01) grant awards to support health economics research ancillary to completed or ongoing large-scale health care delivery and financing pilots, demonstrations, and other experiments (PDEs) that are intended to reduce health care costs or cost growth while maintaining or improving patient outcomes. This FOA provides support for up to five years of funding. This FOA is a component of the Common Fund initiative on Health Economics for Health Care Reform (
Phased Economic Studies Ancillary to Planned Health Care Delivery and Financi...
Funding Opportunity RFA-RM-11-024 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits applications for Phased Innovation (R21/R33) grant awards to support health economics research conducted alongside planned large-scale health care delivery and financing pilots, demonstrations, and other experiments (PDEs) that are intended to reduce health care costs or cost growth while maintaining or improving patient outcomes. This FOA provides support for up to two years (R21 phase) for research planning activities and feasibility studies, followed by possible transition to up to four years of expanded research support (R33 phase). The total project period for an application submitted in response to this FOA may not exceed five years. This FOA requires measurable R21 milestones to be completed prior to the transition to the R33 phase. This FOA is a component of the Common Fund initiative on Health Economics for Health Care Reform ( 
Mechanistic Pathways Linking Psychosocial Stress and Behavior (R01)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)
RFA-HL-12-037 issued by the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Opportunity Network (OppNet) solicits Research Project grant (R01) applications from institutions and organizations that propose to investigate basic psychological, social, and environmental mechanisms and processes linking psychosocial stressors and behavior.



2012 WLS Pilot Grant Program
The Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will award two to three pilot grants to investigators using the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) data for scholarly research.  Grant application must be received by May 25, 2012. Please contact Carol Roan by e-mail or by telephone (608) 265-6196 for more information.

The Population Association of America is currently accepting applications for the 2012-2013 term of the prestigious Science and Technology Fellowship Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The deadline to apply is December 15, 2011. This fellowship is open to doctoral scientists from any discipline relevant to population research. Both early and mid- career professionals are encouraged to apply. To apply for the fellowship and for additional information, please see PAA website:
Please email any questions to Juliane Baron at


5th Annual NIH Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation: Research at the Crossroads
March 19-20, 2012, Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Proposals submission deadline: November 10, 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.

American Geriatrics Society 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting, May 2-5, 2012, Seattle, WA
Abstracts Deadline: December 5, 2011

Summer Research Institute on Behavioral Intervention, June 14-16, 2012
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

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


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