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National Earthquake Resilience

by The National Academy of Sciences

The National Institute of Standards and Technology asked the Council to conduct a study building on its 2008 Strategic Plan for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, established by Congress in 1977. A committee was established with representatives of all relevant disciplines, and this is its report. Among the matters it deals with are earthquake risk and hazard, measuring disaster resilience, advanced national seismic systems, techniques for evaluating and retrofitting existing buildings, and costing the road map elements. It is not indexed. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

A Nationwide Framework for Surveillance of Cardiovascular and Chronic Lung Diseases

by The National Academy of Sciences

Chronic diseases are common and costly, yet they are also among the most preventable health problems. Comprehensive and accurate disease surveillance systems are needed to implement successful efforts which will reduce the burden of chronic diseases on the U. S. population. A number of sources of surveillance data--including population surveys, cohort studies, disease registries, administrative health data, and vital statistics--contribute critical information about chronic disease. But no central surveillance system provides the information needed to analyze how chronic disease impacts the U. S. population, to identify public health priorities, or to track the progress of preventive efforts. A Nationwide Framework for Surveillance of Cardiovascular and Chronic Lung Diseasesoutlines a conceptual framework for building a national chronic disease surveillance system focused primarily on cardiovascular and chronic lung diseases. This system should be capable of providing data on disparities in incidence and prevalence of the diseases by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, along with data on disease risk factors, clinical care delivery, and functional health outcomes. This coordinated surveillance system is needed to integrate and expand existing information across the multiple levels of decision making in order to generate actionable, timely knowledge for a range of stakeholders at the local, state or regional, and national levels. The recommendations presented in A Nationwide Framework for Surveillance of Cardiovascular and Chronic Lung Diseasesfocus on data collection, resource allocation, monitoring activities, and implementation. The report also recommends that systems evolve along with new knowledge about emerging risk factors, advancing technologies, and new understanding of the basis for disease. This report will inform decision-making among federal health agencies, especially the Department of Health and Human Services; public health and clinical practitioners; non-governmental organizations; and policy makers, among others.

The New Profile of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Russia: A Global and Local Perspective

by The National Academy of Sciences

An estimated 2 billion people, one third of the global population, are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. Spread through the air, this infectious disease killed 1. 7 million in 2009, and is the leading killer of people with HIV. Tuberculosis (TB) is also a disease of poverty--the vast majority of tuberculosis deaths occur in the developing world. Exacerbating the devastation caused by TB is the growing threat of drug-resistant forms of the disease in many parts of the world. Drug-resistant tuberculosis presents a number of significant challenges in terms of controlling its spread, diagnosing patients quickly and accurately, and using drugs to treat patients effectively. In Russia in recent decades, the rise of these strains of TB, resistant to standard antibiotic treatment, has been exacerbated by the occurrence of social, political, and economic upheavals. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation, in conjunction with the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences held a workshop to discuss ways to fight the growing threat of drug-resistant TB. The New Profile of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Russia: A Global and Local Perspective: Summary of a Joint Workshoppresents information from experts on the nature of this threat and how it can be addressed by exploring various treatment and diagnostic options.

Opportunities in Protection Materials Science and Technology for Future Army Applications

by The National Academy of Sciences

Armor plays a significant role in the protection of warriors. During the course of history, the introduction of new materials and improvements in the materials already used to construct armor has led to better protection and a reduction in the weight of the armor. But even with such advances in materials, the weight of the armor required to manage threats of ever-increasing destructive capability presents a huge challenge. Opportunities in Protection Materials Science and Technology for Future Army Applicationsexplores the current theoretical and experimental understanding of the key issues surrounding protection materials, identifies the major challenges and technical gaps for developing the future generation of lightweight protection materials, and recommends a path forward for their development. It examines multiscale shockwave energy transfer mechanisms and experimental approaches for their characterization over short timescales, as well as multiscale modeling techniques to predict mechanisms for dissipating energy. The report also considers exemplary threats and design philosophy for the three key applications of armor systems: (1) personnel protection, including body armor and helmets, (2) vehicle armor, and (3) transparent armor. Opportunities in Protection Materials Science and Technology for Future Army Applications recommends that the Department of Defense (DoD) establish a defense initiative for protection materials by design (PMD), with associated funding lines for basic and applied research. The PMD initiative should include a combination of computational, experimental, and materials testing, characterization, and processing research conducted by government, industry, and academia.

Patient-Centered Cancer Treatment Planning: Improving the Quality of Oncology Care

by The National Academy of Sciences

Each year approximately 1. 5 million people are diagnosed with cancer in the United States, most of whom inevitably face difficult decisions concerning their course of care. Recognizing challenges associated with cancer treatment, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) and the National Cancer Policy Forum (NCPF) of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) hosted a public workshop in Washington, DC on February 28 and March 1, 2011, entitled Patient-Centered Cancer Treatment Planning: Improving the Quality of Oncology Care. This workshop summary includes an overview of patient-centered care and cancer treatment planning, as well as subject areas on shared decision making, communication in the cancer care setting, and patient experiences with cancer treatment. Best practices, models of treatment planning, and tools to facilitate their use are also discussed, along with policy changes that may promote patient-centeredness by enhancing patient's understanding of and commitment to the goals of treatment through shared decision-making process with their healthcare team from the moment of diagnosis onward. Moreover, Patient-Centered Cancer Treatment Planningemphasizes treatment planning for patients with cancer at the time diagnosis.

Patients Charting the Course

by The National Academy of Sciences

As past, current, or future patients, the public should be the health care system's unwavering focus and serve as change agents in its care. Taking this into account, the quality of health care should be judged not only by whether clinical decisions are informed by the best available scientific evidence, but also by whether care is tailored to a patient's individual needs and perspectives. However, too often it is provider preference and convenience, rather than those of the patient, that drive what care is delivered. As part of its Learning Health System series of workshops, the Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care hosted a workshop to assess the prospects for improving health and lowering costs by advancing patient involvement in the elements of a learning health system.

A Plan for Evaluating the District of Columbia's Public Schools: From Impressions to Evidence

by The National Academy of Sciences

The District of Columbia (DC) has struggled for decades to improve its public education system. In 2007 the DC government made a bold change in the way it governs public education with the goal of shaking up the system and bringing new energy to efforts to improve outcomes for students. The Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERAA) shifted control of the city's public schools from an elected school board to the mayor, developed a new state department of education, created the position of chancellor, and made other significant management changes. A Plan for Evaluating the District of Columbia's Public Schoolsoffers a framework for evaluating the effects of PERAA on DC's public schools. The book recommends an evaluation program that includes a systematic yearly public reporting of key data as well as in-depth studies of high-priority issues including: quality of teachers, principals, and other personnel; quality of classroom teaching and learning; capacity to serve vulnerable children and youth; promotion of family and community engagement; and quality and equity of operations, management, and facilities. As part of the evaluation program, the Mayor's Office should produce an annual report to the city on the status of the public schools, including an analysis of trends and all the underlying data. A Plan for Evaluating the District of Columbia's Public Schools suggests that D. C. engage local universities, philanthropic organizations, and other institutions to develop and sustain an infrastructure for ongoing research and evaluation of its public schools. Any effective evaluation program must be independent of school and city leaders and responsive to the needs of all stakeholders. Additionally, its research should meet the highest standards for technical quality.

Preparing for the High Frontier: The Role and Training of NASA Astronauts in the Post-Space Shuttle Era

by The National Academy of Sciences

As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) retires the Space Shuttle and shifts involvement in International Space Station (ISS) operations, changes in the role and requirements of NASA's Astronaut Corps will take place. At the request of NASA, the National Research Council (NRC) addressed three main questions about these changes: what should be the role and size of Johnson Space Center's (JSC) Flight Crew Operations Directorate (FCOD); what will be the requirements of astronaut training facilities; and is the Astronaut Corps' fleet of training aircraft a cost-effective means of preparing astronauts for NASA's spaceflight program? This report presents an assessment of several issues driven by these questions. This report does not address explicitly the future of human spaceflight.

Preventing Violence Against Women and Children: Workshop Summary

by The National Academy of Sciences

Violence against women and children is a serious public health concern, with costs at multiple levels of society. Although violence is a threat to everyone, women and children are particularly susceptible to victimization because they often have fewer rights or lack appropriate means of protection. In some societies certain types of violence are deemed socially or legally acceptable, thereby contributing further to the risk to women and children. In the past decade research has documented the growing magnitude of such violence, but gaps in the data still remain. Victims of violence of any type fear stigmatization or societal condemnation and thus often hesitate to report crimes. The issue is compounded by the fact that for women and children the perpetrators are often people they know and because some countries lack laws or regulations protecting victims. Some of the data that have been collected suggest that rates of violence against women range from 15 to 71 percent in some countries and that rates of violence against children top 80 percent. These data demonstrate that violence poses a high burden on global health and that violence against women and children is common and universal. Preventing Violence Against Women and Childrenfocuses on these elements of the cycle as they relate to interrupting this transmission of violence. Intervention strategies include preventing violence before it starts as well as preventing recurrence, preventing adverse effects (such as trauma or the consequences of trauma), and preventing the spread of violence to the next generation or social level. Successful strategies consider the context of the violence, such as family, school, community, national, or regional settings, in order to determine the best programs.

Prudent Practices in the Laboratory

by The National Academy of Sciences

The National Research Council published two guides during the early 1980s, updated and combined them in 1995, and in 2007 began the process of creating a new edition. Throughout its history, the reference has been intended to be useful to laboratory workers and managers, but also to help inform regulatory policy. Among the topics are the culture of laboratory safety, emergency planning, managing chemicals, working with laboratory equipment, laboratory security, and relevant safety laws and standards. The accompanying disk contains supplemental materials such as a sample incident report form, and procedures for the laboratory-scale treatment of surplus and waste chemicals. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Report of a Workshop of Pedagogical Aspects of Computational Thinking

by The National Academy of Sciences

In 2008, the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation asked the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct two workshops to explore the nature of computational thinking and its cognitive and educational implications. The first workshop focused on the scope and nature of computational thinking and on articulating what "computational thinking for everyone" might mean. A report of that workshop was released in January 2010. Drawing in part on the proceedings of that workshop, Report of a Workshop of Pedagogical Aspects of Computational Thinking, summarizes the second workshop, which was held February 4-5, 2010, in Washington, D. C. , and focuses on pedagogical considerations for computational thinking. This workshop was structured to gather pedagogical inputs and insights from educators who have addressed computational thinking in their work with K-12 teachers and students. It illuminates different approaches to computational thinking and explores lessons learned and best practices. Individuals with a broad range of perspectives contributed to this report. Since the workshop was not intended to result in a consensus regarding the scope and nature of computational thinking, Report of a Workshop of Pedagogical Aspects of Computational Thinking does not contain findings or recommendations.

Review of the Environmental Protection Agency's Draft IRIS Assessment of Formaldehyde

by The National Academy of Sciences

Formaldehyde is ubiquitous in indoor and outdoor air, and everyone is exposed to formaldehyde at some concentration daily. Formaldehyde is used to produce a wide array of products, particularly building materials; it is emitted from many sources, including power plants, cars, gas and wood stoves, and cigarettes; it is a natural product in come foods; and it is naturally present in the human body as a metabolic intermediate. Much research has been conducted on the health effects of exposure to formaldehyde, including effects on the upper airway, where formaldehyde is deposited when inhaled, and effects on tissues distant from the site of initial contact. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released noncancer and cancer assessments of formaldehyde for its Intergated Risk Information System (IRIS) in 1990 and 1991, respectively. The agency began reassessing formaldehyde in 1998 and released a draft IRIS assessment in June 2010. Given the complexity of the issues and the knowledge that the assessment will be used as the basis of regulatory decisions, EPA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct an independent scientific review of the draft IRIS assessment. In this report, the Committee to Review EPA's Draft IRIS Assessment of Formaldehyde first addresses some general issues associated with the draft IRIS assessment. The committee next focuses on questions concerning specific aspects of the draft assessment, including derivation of the reference concentrations and the cancer unit risk estimates for formaldehyde. The committee closes with recommendations for improving the IRIS assessment of formaldehyde and provides some general comments on the IRIS development process.

Review of the National Defense Intelligence College's Master's Degree in Science and Technology Intelligence

by The National Academy of Sciences

The National Research Council (NRC) was asked by the National Defense Intelligence College (NDIC) to convene a committee to review the curriculum and syllabi for their proposed master of science degree in science and technology intelligence. The NRC was asked to review the material provided by the NDIC and offer advice and recommendations regarding the program's structure and goals of the Master of Science and Technology Intelligence (MS&TI) program. The Committee for the Review of the Master's Degree Program for Science and Technology Professionals convened in May 2011, received extensive briefings and material from the NDIC faculty and administrators, and commenced a detailed review of the material. This letter report contains the findings and recommendations of the committee. Review of the National Defense Intelligence College's Master's Degree in Science and Technology Intelligencecenters on two general areas. First, the committee found that the biological sciences and systems engineering were underrepresented in the existing program structure. Secondly, the committee recommends that the NDIC faculty restructure the program and course learning objectives to focus more specifically on science and technology, with particular emphasis on the empirical measurement of student achievement. Given the dynamic and ever-changing nature of science and technology, the syllabi should continue to evolve as change occurs.

The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Lecture 2011: New Frontiers in Patient Safety

by The National Academy of Sciences

More than 10 years ago, the IOM released its landmark report on patient safety, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. The 2011 Rosenthal Lecture featured the Honorable Kathleen G. Sebelius, Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, who presented the new steps that HHS is taking to improve patient safety. A panel of leaders in patient safety followed to discuss patient safety progress and opportunities.

Sharing The Adventure With The Public

by The National Academy of Sciences

On November 8-10, 2010, the National Research Council's Space Studies Board (SSB) held a public workshop on how NASA and its associated science and exploration communities communicate with the public about major NASA activities and programs. The concept and planning of the workshop developed over a period of two years. In conjunction with the SSB, the workshop planning committee identified five "Grand Questions" in space science and exploration around which the event was organized. As outlined in the summary, the workshop concluded with sessions on communicating space research and exploration to the public.

Space Studies Board: Annual Report 2010

by The National Academy of Sciences

A report on Space Studies Board

State and Local Policy Initiatives to Reduce Health Disparities Workshop Summary

by The National Academy of Sciences

Although efforts to reduce health disparities receive attention at the national level, information on the successes of state and local efforts are often not heard. On May 11, 2009, the Institute of Medicine held a public workshop to discuss the role of state and local policy initiatives to reduce health disparities. The workshop brought together stakeholders to learn more about what works in reducing health disparities and ways to focus on localized efforts when working to reduce health disparities.

Successful K-12 Stem Education

by The National Academy of Sciences

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are cultural achievements that reflect our humanity, power our economy, and constitute fundamental aspects of our lives as citizens, consumers, parents, and members of the workforce. Providing all students with access to quality education in the STEM disciplines is important to our nation's competitiveness. However, it is challenging to identify the most successful schools and approaches in the STEM disciplines because success is defined in many ways and can occur in many different types of schools and settings. In addition, it is difficult to determine whether the success of a school's students is caused by actions the school takes or simply related to the population of students in the school. Successful K-12 STEM Educationdefines a framework for understanding "success" in K-12 STEM education. The book focuses its analysis on the science and mathematics parts of STEM and outlines criteria for identifying effective STEM schools and programs. Because a school's success should be defined by and measured relative to its goals, the book identifies three important goals that share certain elements, including learning STEM content and practices, developing positive dispositions toward STEM, and preparing students to be lifelong learners. A successful STEM program would increase the number of students who ultimately pursue advanced degrees and careers in STEM fields, enhance the STEM-capable workforce, and boost STEM literacy for all students. It is also critical to broaden the participation of women and minorities in STEM fields. Successful K-12 STEM Education examines the vast landscape of K-12 STEM education by considering different school models, highlighting research on effective STEM education practices, and identifying some conditions that promote and limit school- and student-level success in STEM. The book also looks at where further work is needed to develop appropriate data sources. The book will serve as a guide to policy makers; decision makers at the school and district levels; local, state, and federal government agencies; curriculum developers; educators; and parent and education advocacy groups.

Successful Stem Education

by The National Academy of Sciences

What students learn about the science disciplines, technology, engineering, and mathematics during their K-12 schooling shapes their intellectual development, opportunities for future study and work, and choices of career, as well as their capacity to make informed decisions about political and civic issues and about their own lives. Most people share the vision that a highly capable STEM workforce and a population that understands and supports the scientific enterprise are key to the future place of the United States in global economics and politics and to the well-being of the nation. Indeed, the solutions to some of the most daunting problems facing the nation will require not only the expertise of top STEM professionals but also the wisdom and understanding of its citizens. Although much is known about why schools may not succeed, it is far less clear what makes STEM education effective. Successful STEM Education: A Workshop Summary discusses the importance of STEM education. The report describes the primary types of K-12 schools and programs that can support successful education in the STEM disciplines and examines data and research that demonstrate the effectiveness of these school types. It also summarizes research that helps to identify both the elements that make such programs effective and what is needed to implement these elements.

Summary of the Workshop to Identify Gaps and Possible Directions for NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs

by The National Academy of Sciences

A Summary of the Workshop to Identify the Gaps and Possible Directions for NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programssummarizes the two-day workshop held on March 9-10, 2011, where various stakeholders presented diverse perspectives on matters concerning NASA Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) programs, NASA mission operators, the role and relationships of NASA MMOD programs to other federal agencies, MMOD and the commercial industry, and orbital debris retrieval and removal. The report assesses NASA's existing efforts, policies, and organizations with regard to orbital debris and micrometeoroids by creating advisory dialogue on potential opportunities for program enhancement and maintenance practices.

Sustainability and the U.S. EPA

by The National Academy of Sciences

The National Research Council convened a Committee on Incorporating Sustainability in the US Environmental Protection Agency, to provide an operational framework for this integration as one of the drivers within the EPA's regulatory responsibility, as well as to address how the existing framework rooted in risk assessment/risk management can be integrated and identify the scientific and analytical tools and expertise needed to support it. Following a brief history of sustainability in the US and internationally, the proposed framework is presented, as are the processes and tools and discussion of how the EPA decision-making process can be integrated, cultural change management at the agency, and the relevance and utility of sustainability considerations in the EPA's accomplishment of its mission, as well as examples of successful sustainability initiatives. There is no index. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Understanding Earth's Deep Past

by The National Academy of Sciences

A committee appointed to the task assesses both the demonstrated and the underdeveloped potential of the deep-time geological record to inform people about the dynamics of the global climate system in response to the spectrum of forcings and conditions under which it has operated. Much of the effort went to describing past climate changes and their impacts on local ecosystems. There is no index. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Waste Forms Technology and Performance: Final Report

by The National Academy of Sciences

The Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) is responsible for cleaning up radioactive waste and environmental contamination resulting from five decades of nuclear weapons production and testing. A major focus of this program involves the retrieval, processing, and immobilization of waste into stable, solid waste forms for disposal. Waste Forms Technology and Performance, a report requested by DOE-EM, examines requirements for waste form technology and performance in the cleanup program. The report provides information to DOE-EM to support improvements in methods for processing waste and selecting and fabricating waste forms. Waste Forms Technology and Performanceplaces particular emphasis on processing technologies for high-level radioactive waste, DOE's most expensive and arguably most difficult cleanup challenge. The report's key messages are presented in ten findings and one recommendation.

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