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Fungal Diseases: An Emerging Threat to Human, Animal, and Plant Health: Workshop Summary

by The National Academy of Sciences

Scientists from biological, medical, and environmental fields look both at specific pathogens and hosts and at the role fungus plays in the world and the economy generally. The 80-page workshop overview is followed by 21 contributed papers on such topics as the emergence of Cryptococcus gattii in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, surveillance for emerging diseases in wildlife, putting yellow rust into the perspective of the increased risk of global wheat rust pandemics, similarities and differences in fungal pathogenesis in plants and animals, the effect of the trade-mediated spread of amphibian chytrid on amphibian conservation, and the pan-European distribution of the bat white-nose syndrome fungus. The workshop was held in December 2010, in Washington, DC. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

The Future of Federal Household Surveys

by The National Academy of Sciences

Increasing cost and declining response rates are two of the problems facing US federal government household surveys that led the Census Bureau to call for the workshop. It was held in November 2010, and though no consensus was reached, there was much sharing of views and ideas among statisticians in a number of agencies. Among the areas summarized here are sampling frames, the collection of household data, small-area estimation, survey content, and next steps. There is no index. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

The Future of Photovoltaic Manufacturing in the United States

by The National Academy of Sciences

The symposia, held in April and July 2009, were part of an ongoing program to analyze and evaluate state and local incentives to attract manufacturing. Representatives of producers of photovoltaics, congressional staff, academics, industry analysts, and representatives from relevant government agencies discussed opportunities and challenges facing photovoltaic manufacturing in the US, national and international consortia, the economics of photovoltaics in the US, flex display as the next generation, state and regional innovation initiatives, the Department of Energy advancing solar technologies, contributions from other federal agencies, intermediating institutions, and building a solar photovoltaic roadmap. The summary is not indexed. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Generating Evidence for Genomic Diagnostic Test Development

by The National Academy of Sciences

Ten years after the sequencing of the human genome, scientists have developed genetic tests that can predict a person's response to certain drugs, estimate the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, and make other predictions based on known links between genes and diseases. However, genetic tests have yet to become a routine part of medical care, in part because there is not enough evidence to show they help improve patients' health. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) held a workshop to explore how researchers can gather better evidence more efficiently on the clinical utility of genetic tests. Generating Evidence for Genomic Diagnostic Test Development compares the evidence that is required for decisions regarding clearance, use, and reimbursement, to the evidence that is currently generated. The report also addresses innovative and efficient ways to generate high-quality evidence, as well as barriers to generating this evidence. Generating Evidence for Genomic Diagnostic Test Development contains information that will be of great value to regulators and policymakers, payers, health-care providers, researchers, funders, and evidence-based review groups.

Global Change and Extreme Hydrology: Testing Conventional Wisdom

by The National Academy of Sciences

Climate theory dictates that core elements of the climate system, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, and reservoirs of atmospheric and soil moisture, should change as the climate warms, both in their means and extremes. A major challenge that faces the climate and hydrologic science communities is understanding the nature of these ongoing changes in climate and hydrology and the apparent anomalies that exist in reconciling their extreme manifestations. The National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Hydrologic Science (COHS) held a workshop on January 5-6, 2010, that examined how climate warming translates into hydrologic extremes like floods and droughts. The workshop brought together three groups of experts. The first two groups consisted of atmospheric scientists and hydrologists focused on the scientific underpinnings and empirical evidence linking climate variability to hydrologic extremes. The third group consisted of water managers and decision-makers charged with the design and operation of water systems that in the future must be made resilient in light of a changing climate and an environment of hydrologic extremes. Global Change and Extreme Hydrologysummarizes the proceedings of this workshop. This report presents an overview of the current state of the science in terms of climate change and extreme hydrologic events. It examines the "conventional wisdom" that climate change will "accelerate" the hydrologic cycle, fuel more evaporation, and generate more precipitation, based on an increased capacity of a warmer atmosphere to hold more water vapor. The report also includes descriptions of the changes in frequency and severity of extremes, the ability (or inability) to model these changes, and the problem of communicating the best science to water resources practitioners in useful forums.

Glutamate-Related Biomarkers in Drug Development for Disorders of the Nervous System: Workshop Summary

by The National Academy of Sciences

Glutamate is the most pervasive neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). Despite this fact, no validated biological markers, or biomarkers, currently exist for measuring glutamate pathology in CNS disorders or injuries. Glutamate dysfunction has been associated with an extensive range of nervous system diseases and disorders. Problems with how the neurotransmitter glutamate functions in the brain have been linked to a wide variety of disorders, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, substance abuse, and traumatic brain injury. These conditions are widespread, affecting a large portion of the United States population, and remain difficult to treat. Efforts to understand, treat, and prevent glutamate-related disorders can be aided by the identification of valid biomarkers. The Institute of Medicine's Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders held a workshop on June 21-22, 2010, to explore ways to accelerate the development, validation, and implementation of such biomarkers. Glutamate-Related Biomarkers in Drug Development for Disorders of the Nervous System: Workshop Summaryinvestigates promising current and emerging technologies, and outlines strategies to procure resources and tools to advance drug development for associated nervous system disorders. Moreover, this report highlights presentations by expert panelists, and the open panel discussions that occurred during the workshop.

Grand Challenges in Earthquake Engineering Research: A Community Workshop Report

by The National Academy of Sciences

The workshop had been planned for a long time, but convened three days after the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, lending a sense of urgency to establishing a research agency to help communities become earthquake resilient. After setting out the research challenges, participants identified experimental and cyberinfrastructure networked facilities needed to address the challenges. Among these are a community resilience observatory, a rapid monitoring facility, a large-scale shaking table, and a mobile facility for in-situ structural testing. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Growing Innovation Clusters for American Prosperity: Summary of a Symposium

by The National Academy of Sciences

Growing Innovation Clusters for American Prosperity

Guidance for the Description of Animal Research in Scientific Publications

by The National Academy of Sciences

A committee offers guidance to journal editors, authors, and reviewers on reporting laboratory research that involves animals in such a manner that peers can understand and use the information in their own research. The guide covers defining an optimal description of an animal study, the research animal, the research environment and study conditions, basic animal methodology, and aquatic systems. There is no index. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Health Care Comes Home

by The National Academy of Sciences

The National Research Council's Committee on the Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care was formed to investigate the role of human factors in home health care and the range of issues resulting from the increased use of medical devices, technologies, and practices in the home. It conducted a workshop on the topic held in October 2009 in Washington, DC, and reports on its conclusions and recommendations here. The report details the relevant people, tasks, technologies, and environments to highlight the most prevalent and serious threats to safety, quality of care, and care recipient and provider well-being. It documents the characteristics of people who give and receive care; human factors tools and methods and their application; tasks and their demands and analysis; technologies used; care factors in physical, social/cultural, community, and policy environments; and 11 recommendations on technologies, residential environments, research and development needs, and other areas, including regulation, adverse event reporting, safety and modification of housing, accessibility and universal design, teamwork and coordination, and assessment. There is no index. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Health Literacy Implications for Health Care Reform: Workshop Summary

by The National Academy of Sciences

Health literacy is the degree to which one can understand and make decisions based on health information. Nearly 90 million adults in the United States have limited health literacy. While poor health literacy spans all demographics, rates of low health literacy are disproportionately higher among those with lower socioeconomic status, limited education, or limited English proficiency, as well as among the elderly and individuals with mental or physical disabilities. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between low health literacy and poor health outcomes. In 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act designed to extend access to health care coverage to millions of Americans who have been previously uninsured. Many of the newly eligible individuals who should benefit most from the ACA, however, are least prepared to realize those benefits as a result of low health literacy. They will face significant challenges understanding what coverage they are eligible for under the ACA, making informed choices about the best options for themselves and their families, and completing the enrollment process. Health Literacy Implications for Health Care Reformexplores opportunities to advance health literacy in association with the implementation of health care reform. The report focuses on building partnerships to advance the field of health literacy by translating research findings into practical strategies for implementation, and on educating the public, press, and policymakers regarding issues of health literacy.

Implementing a National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the 21st Century: Workshop Summary

by The National Academy of Sciences

Clinical trials enable scientific discoveries to advance patient care, in addition to informing and guiding subsequent research. The National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program works to advance patient care and research. The Cooperative Group Program has been instrumental in establishing the standards for cancer patient care and clinical research methods. Despite broad participation in the program, financial strain and procedural burdens limit the ability of the Cooperative Group Program to undertake medical practice-changing clinical research. Thus, the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) National Cancer Policy Forum and the American Society of Clinical Oncology held a workshop on March 21, 2011 to follow up on the 2010 IOM report, A National Clinical Trials System for the 21st Century: Reinvigorating the NCI Cooperative Group Program, which made recommendations to strengthen the NCI Cooperative Group Program. In keeping with the established commitment to excellence Implementing a National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the 21st Centuryoutlines how to improve the current system by incorporating innovative science and trial design into cancer clinical trials. It also examines the impact of increasing quality in regards to speed, efficiency, design, launch, and conduct, as well as improving prioritization, and incentivized participation.

Improving Health In The United States

by The National Academy of Sciences

Despite large expenditures on healthcare and medical technology, the United States still ranks 32nd in the world for life expectancy. The missing piece is the impact of factors such as housing quality, exposure to pollutants, food quality, and the lack of exercise--which leads to high obesity rates. Prepared by the Committee on Health Impact Assessment, this detailed work looks at integrating the possible effects on health into factors such as decisions over land use and provision of transportation options. The book closes with six appendixes, including a dictionary and a summary of health impact assessment guides. No index is provided. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Improving Health Literacy Within a State: Workshop Summary

by The National Academy of Sciences

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions. According to Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion(IOM, 2004), nearly half of all American adults--90 million people--have inadequate health literacy to navigate the healthcare system. To address issues raised in that report, the Institute of Medicine convened the Roundtable on Health Literacy, which brings together leaders from the federal government, foundations, health plans, associations, and private companies to discuss challenges facing health literacy practice and research and to identify approaches to promote health literacy in both the public and private sectors. On November 30, 2010, the roundtable cosponsored a workshop with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles. Improving Health Literacy Within a Stateserves as a summary of what occurred at the workshop. The workshop focused on understanding what works to improve health literacy across a state, including how various stakeholders have a role in improving health literacy. The focus of the workshop was on presentations and discussions that address (1) the clinical impacts of health literacy improvement approaches; (2) economic outcomes of health literacy implementation; and (3) how various stakeholders can affect health literacy.

Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education

by The National Academy of Sciences

The Board of Testing and Assessment established the committee in 2002 during the early implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and charged it with examining research related to the use of incentives and to synthesize its implications for the use of test-based incentives in education. The report covers basic research on incentives, tests as performance measures, evidence on the use of test-based incentives, and recommendations for policy and research. It is not indexed. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Incorporating Occupational Information in Electronic Health Records: Letter Report

by The National Academy of Sciences

Each year in the United States, more than 4,000 occupational fatalities and more than 3 million occupational injuries occur along with more than 160,000 cases of occupational illnesses. Incorporating patients' occupational information into electronic health records (EHRs) could lead to more informed clinical diagnosis and treatment plans as well as more effective policies, interventions, and prevention strategies to improve the overall health of the working population. At the request of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the IOM appointed a committee to examine the rationale and feasibility of incorporating occupational information in patients' EHRs. The IOM concluded that three data elements - occupation, industry, and work-relatedness - were ready for immediate focus, and made recommendations on moving forward efforts to incorporate these elements into EHRs.

Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters: The Perspective from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi: Summary of a Workshop

by The National Academy of Sciences

Natural disasters are having an increasing effect on the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. Every decade, property damage caused by natural disasters and hazards doubles or triples in the United States. More than half of the U. S. population lives within 50 miles of a coast, and all Americans are at risk from such hazards as fires, earthquakes, floods, and wind. The year 2010 saw 950 natural catastrophes around the world--the second highest annual total ever--with overall losses estimated at $130 billion. The increasing impact of natural disasters and hazards points to increasing importance of resilience, the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, or more successfully adapt to actual or potential adverse events, at the individual , local, state, national, and global levels. Assessing National Resilience to Hazards and Disastersreviews the effects of Hurricane Katrina and other natural and human-induced disasters on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi and to learn more about the resilience of those areas to future disasters. Topics explored in the workshop range from insurance, building codes, and critical infrastructure to private-sector issues, public health, nongovernmental organizations and governance. This workshop summary provides a rich foundation of information to help increase the nation's resilience through actionable recommendations and guidance on the best approaches to reduce adverse impacts from hazards and disasters.

An Interim Report on NASA's Draft Space Technology Roadmaps

by The National Academy of Sciences

For the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to achieve many of its space science and exploration goals over the next several decades, dramatic advances in space technology will be necessary. NASA has developed a set of 14 draft roadmaps to guide the development of such technologies under the leadership of the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT). Each roadmap focuses on a particular technology area. OCT requested that the National Research Council conduct a study to review the draft roadmaps, gather and assess relevant community input, and make recommendations and suggest priorities to inform NASA's decisions as it finalizes its roadmaps. The success of OCT's technology development program is essential, because technological breakthroughs have long been the foundation of NASA's successes, from its earliest days, to the Apollo program, to a vast array of space science missions and the International Space Station. An Interim Report of NASA's Technology Roadmapidentifies some gaps in the technologies included in the individual roadmaps. The report suggests that the effectiveness of the NASA space technology program can be enhanced by employing proven management practices and principles including increasing program stability, addressing facility issues, and supporting adequate flight tests of new technologies. This interim report provides several additional observations that will be expanded on in the final report to be released in 2012.

Legal Strategies in Childhood Obesity Prevention

by The National Academy of Sciences

Since 1980, childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in the United States. Recent data show that almost one-third of children over 2 years of age are already overweight or obese. While the prevalence of childhood obesity appears to have plateaued in recent years, the magnitude of the problem remains unsustainably high and represents an enormous public health concern. All options for addressing the childhood obesity epidemic must therefore be explored. In the United States, legal approaches have successfully reduced other threats to public health, such as the lack of passive restraints in automobiles and the use of tobacco. The question then arises of whether laws, regulations, and litigation can likewise be used to change practices and policies that contribute to obesity. On October 21, 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) held a workshop to bring together stakeholders to discuss the current and future legal strategies aimed at combating childhood obesity. Legal Strategies in Childhood Obesity Preventionsummarizes the proceedings of that workshop. The report examines the challenges involved in implementing public health initiatives by using legal strategies to elicit change. It also discusses circumstances in which legal strategies are needed and effective. This workshop was created only to explore the boundaries of potential legal approaches to address childhood obesity, and therefore, does not contain recommendations for the use of such approaches.

Leveraging Food Technology for Obesity Prevention and Reduction Effort: Workshop Summary

by The National Academy of Sciences

Obesity is a major public health challenge. More than one-third of the U. S. adult population is considered obese, a figure that has more than doubled since the mid-1970s. Among children, obesity rates have more than tripled over the same period. Not only is obesity associated with numerous medical complications, but it incurs significant economic cost. At its simplest, obesity is a result of an energy imbalance, with obese (and overweight) people consuming more energy (calories) than they are expending. During the last 10-20 years, behavioral scientists have made significant progress toward building an evidence base for understanding what drives energy imbalance in overweight and obese individuals. Meanwhile, food scientists have been tapping into this growing evidence base to improve existing technologies and create new technologies that can be applied to alter the food supply in ways that reduce the obesity burden on the American population. Leveraging Food Technology for Obesity Prevention and Reduction Effort examines the complexity of human eating behavior and explores ways in which the food industry can continue to leverage modern food processing technologies to influence energy intake. The report also examines the opportunities and challenges of altering the food supply--both at home and outside the home--and outlines lessons learned, best practices, and next steps.

Limiting Future Collision Risk to Spacecraft

by The National Academy of Sciences

Derelict satellites, equipment and other debris orbiting Earth (aka space junk) have been accumulating for many decades and could damage or even possibly destroy satellites and human spacecraft if they collide. During the past 50 years, various National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) communities have contributed significantly to maturing meteoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) programs to their current state. Satellites have been redesigned to protect critical components from MMOD damage by moving critical components from exterior surfaces to deep inside a satellite's structure. Orbits are monitored and altered to minimize the risk of collision with tracked orbital debris. MMOD shielding added to the International Space Station (ISS) protects critical components and astronauts from potentially catastrophic damage that might result from smaller, untracked debris and meteoroid impacts. Limiting Future Collision Risk to Spacecraft: An Assessment of NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programexamines NASA's efforts to understand the meteoroid and orbital debris environment, identifies what NASA is and is not doing to mitigate the risks posed by this threat, and makes recommendations as to how they can improve their programs. While the report identified many positive aspects of NASA's MMOD programs and efforts including responsible use of resources, it recommends that the agency develop a formal strategic plan that provides the basis for prioritizing the allocation of funds and effort over various MMOD program needs. Other necessary steps include improvements in long-term modeling, better measurements, more regular updates of the debris environmental models, and other actions to better characterize the long-term evolution of the debris environment.

Long-Term Health Congequences of Exposure to Burn Pits in Iraq and Afghanistan

by The National Academy of Sciences

Many veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have health problems they believe are related to their exposure to the smoke from the burning of waste in open-air "burn pits" on military bases. Particular controversy surrounds the burn pit used to dispose of solid waste at Joint Base Balad in Iraq, which burned up to 200 tons of waste per day in 2007. The Department of Veterans Affairs asked the IOM to form a committee to determine the long-term health effects from exposure to these burn pits. Insufficient evidence prevented the IOM committee from developing firm conclusions. This report, there for, recommends that, along with more efficient data-gathering methods, a study be conducted that would evaluate the health status of service members from their time of deployment over many years to determine their incidence of chronic diseases.

Measuring the Impacts of Federal Investments in Research: A Workshop Summary

by The National Academy of Sciences

The enactment of the America COMPETES Act in 2006 (and its reauthorization in 2010), the increase in research expenditures under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and President Obama's general emphasis on the contribution of science and technology to economic growth have all heightened interest in the role of scientific and engineering research in creating jobs, generating innovative technologies, spawning new industries, improving health, and producing other economic and societal benefits. Along with this interest has come a renewed emphasis on a question that has been asked for decades: Can the impacts and practical benefits of research to society be measured either quantitatively or qualitatively? On April 18-19, 2011, the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) and the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP) of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, held a workshop to examine this question. The workshop sought to assemble the range of work that has been done in measuring research outcomes and to provide a forum to discuss its method. The workshop was motivated by a 2009 letter from Congressman Rush Holt (D-New Jersey). He asked the National Academies to look into a variety of complex and interconnected issues, such as the short-term and long-term economic and non-economic impact of federal research funding, factors that determine whether federally funded research discoveries result in economic benefits, and quantification of the impacts of research on national security, the environment, health, education, public welfare, and decision making. Measuring the Impacts of Federal Investments in Researchprovides the key observations and suggestions made by the speakers at the workshop and during the discussions that followed the formal presentations.

Medical Devices and the Public's Health: The FDA 510(k) Clearance Process at 35 Years

by The National Academy of Sciences

Medical devices that are deemed to have a moderate risk to patients generally cannot go on the market until they are cleared through the FDA 510(k) process. In recent years, individuals and organizations have expressed concern that the 510(k) process is neither making safe and effective devices available to patients nor promoting innovation in the medical-device industry. Several high-profile mass-media reports and consumer-protection groups have profiled recognized or potential problems with medical devices cleared through the 510(k) clearance process. The medical-device industry and some patients have asserted that the process has become too burdensome and is delaying or stalling the entry of important new medical devices to the market. At the request of the FDA, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) examined the 510(k) process. Medical Devices and the Public's Healthexamines the current 510(k) clearance process and whether it optimally protects patients and promotes innovation in support of public health. It also identifies legislative, regulatory, or administrative changes that will achieve the goals of the 510(k) clearance process. Medical Devices and the Public's Healthrecommends that the U. S. Food and Drug Administration gather the information needed to develop a new regulatory framework to replace the 35-year-old 510(k) clearance process for medical devices. According to the report, the FDA's finite resources are best invested in developing an integrated premarket and postmarket regulatory framework.

Memorial Tributes

by The National Academy of Sciences

This is the fifteenth volume in the series of Memorial Tributes compiled by the National Academy of Engineering as a personal remembrance of the lives and outstanding achievements of its members and foreign associates. These volumes are intended to stand as an enduring record of the many contributions of engineers and engineering to the benefit of humankind. In most cases, the authors of the tributes are contemporaries or colleagues who had personal knowledge of the interests and the engineering accomplishments of the deceased.

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