News

Duke's  Biodemography of Aging Research Unit (BARU) is hosting the  Duke-NIH Workshop "Leveraging Existing Data and Analytic Methods for Health Disparities Research Related to Aging" assembling a broad array of experts including Carl Hill, NIA Office of Special Populations.

Lecture by Elliott Tucker-Drob, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and the UT Austin Population Research Center. Tucker-Drob leads the Lifespan Development Lab at UT and is co-director of the Texas Twin Project

Scientific American (January 2019)  features  Susan Alberts and Jenny Tung's work with the Amboseli Baboon Research Project - “Strong relationships seem to help baboons overcome early life adversity that could have implications on Human Health” 

Being low on the pecking order often means poorer health — but why? For 196 Amboseli female baboons, Tung and colleagues checked for six forms of hardship early in life, such as a severe drought or the deprivations encountered by a daughter of a low-ranked mom. Baboons that suffered at least three of these disadvantages as youngsters died on average 10 years earlier than those with no more than one misfortune, the researchers reported in 2016 in Nature Communications. Even in the wild, social adversity plays a role in lifelong health...
During his appearance before Congress on Wednesday, Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, repeatedly denied that Twitter’s algorithms are biased against conservative voices. His denials echoed recent statements he has made about the importance of exposing people to opposing political views. Indeed, he announced last month that Twitter was experimenting with new features that would actively expose people to such views.... (Op Ed by Christopher Bail, New York Times 4/9/2018)
The Add Health Parent Study, a Duke Population Research Institute (DuPRI) and Carolina Population Center (CPC) collaborative data collection initiative, funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), has gathered social, behavioral, and health survey data in 2015-2017 on a probability sample of the parents of the Add Health parents who were originally interviewed in 1995. Data for 2,013 Wave I parents, ranging in age from 50-80 years and representing 2,247 Add Health sample members, are available. Additionally, 988 current spouse/partner interviews are available.
Jenny Tung first traveled to East Africa in 2006 to study the wild baboons of Amboseli, Kenya. She remembers being surprised at how big they were, noting, “They are so human to me.” Tung has returned every year since, adding to decades of detailed field observations about the primates’ social behavior, and bringing cutting-edge genomic tools to bear on the question: Do social relationships have a biological impact on health? ...
Using health data from 30 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries and data from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators, sociologistsHui Zheng, Ohio State University, and Linda George, Duke University, find that both the level of medical investment and medical professionalization/specialization were significantly positively associated with improvement in all three traditional measures of life expectancy and decreased mortality rate, even when correcting for possible unobserved factors that differ across the 30 nations....
<p>In 1987, Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt, two postdocs in psychology, had adjacent displays at the poster session of a conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Caspi, generally not a forward man, looked over at Moffitt's poster and was dazzled by her science. "You have the most beautiful data set," he said. Not one to be easily wooed, Moffitt went to the university library after the meeting and looked up Caspi's citations. Yep, he'd do. "It was very nerdy," Caspi recalls. "We fell in love over our data....
From diet and exercise recommendations to the common cold, our health is often shaped by who we know and see on a regular basis. To better understand how these networks can have incredible implications for our health, social network analysis, particularly related to health and health care, has become a robust field of study in recent years.But social network analysis methods aren’t yet standard fare in social science methods taught to health and health-policy scholars. The demand is clear. To help bridge this gap between demand and training, the Duke Network Analysis Center (DNAC), an SSRI affiliate, offers an annual intensive week long training program in early summer....