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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)
Spacecraft require electrical energy. This energy must be available in the outer reaches of the solar system where sunlight is very faint. It must be available through lunar nights that last for 14 days, through long periods of dark and cold at the higher latitudes on Mars, and in high-radiation fields such as those around Jupiter. Radioisotope power systems (RPSs) are the only available power source that can operate unconstrained in these environments for the long periods of time needed to accomplish many missions, and plutonium-238 (238Pu) is the only practical isotope for fueling them. Plutonium-238 does not occur in nature. The committee does not believe that there is any additional 238Pu (or any operational 238Pu production facilities) available anywhere in the world.The total amount of 238Pu available for NASA is fixed, and essentially all of it is already dedicated to support several pending missions--the Mars Science Laboratory, Discovery 12, the Outer Planets Flagship 1 (OPF 1), and (perhaps) a small number of additional missions with a very small demand for 238Pu. If the status quo persists, the United States will not be able to provide RPSs for any subsequent missions.
The New Orleans Hurricane Protection System: Assessing Pre-Katrina Vulnerability and Improving Mitigation and Preparednessby National Academy of Engineering National Research Council of the National Academies
Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans and surrounding areas in August 2005, ranks as one of the nation's most devastating natural disasters. Shortly after the storm, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established a task force to assess the performance of the levees, floodwalls, and other structures comprising the area's hurricane protection system during Hurricane Katrina. This book provides an independent review of the task force's final draft report and identifies key lessons from the Katrina experience and their implications for future hurricane preparedness and planning in the region.
Each year, approximately 5,000 fatal work-related injuries and 4 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses occur in the United States. This number represents both unnecessary human suffering and high economic costs. In order to assist in better evaluating workplace safety and create safer work environments, the Institute of Medicine conducted a series of evaluations of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research programs, assessing the relevance and impact of NIOSH's work on improving worker safety and health.
Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other "STEM" subjects--science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics, increase awareness of engineering and the work of engineers, boost youth interest in pursuing engineering as a career, and increase the technological literacy of all students. The teaching of STEM subjects in U.S. schools must be improved in order to retain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy and to develop a workforce with the knowledge and skills to address technical and technological issues. Engineering in K-12 Education reviews the scope and impact of engineering education today and makes several recommendations to address curriculum, policy, and funding issues. The book also analyzes a number of K-12 engineering curricula in depth and discusses what is known from the cognitive sciences about how children learn engineering-related concepts and skills. Engineering in K-12 Education will serve as a reference for science, technology, engineering, and math educators, policy makers, employers, and others concerned about the development of the country's technical workforce. The book will also prove useful to educational researchers, cognitive scientists, advocates for greater public understanding of engineering, and those working to boost technological and scientific literacy.
The health and economic costs of tobacco use in military and veteran populations are high. In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) make recommendations on how to reduce tobacco initiation and encourage cessation in both military and veteran populations. In its 2009 report, Combating Tobacco in Military and Veteran Populations, the authoring committee concludes that to prevent tobacco initiation and encourage cessation, both DoD and VA should implement comprehensive tobacco-control programs.
Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Effortsby National Research Council of the National Academies
Many coastal areas of the United States are at risk for tsunamis. After the catastrophic 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, legislation was passed to expand U.S. tsunami warning capabilities. Since then, the nation has made progress in several related areas on both the federal and state levels. At the federal level, NOAA has improved the ability to detect and forecast tsunamis by expanding the sensor network. Other federal and state activities to increase tsunami safety include: improvements to tsunami hazard and evacuation maps for many coastal communities; vulnerability assessments of some coastal populations in several states; and new efforts to increase public awareness of the hazard and how to respond. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness explores the advances made in tsunami detection and preparedness, and identifies the challenges that still remain. The book describes areas of research and development that would improve tsunami education, preparation, and detection, especially with tsunamis that arrive less than an hour after the triggering event. It asserts that seamless coordination between the two Tsunami Warning Centers and clear communications to local officials and the public could create a timely and effective response to coastal communities facing a pending tsuanami. According to Tsunami Warning and Preparedness, minimizing future losses to the nation from tsunamis requires persistent progress across the broad spectrum of efforts including: risk assessment, public education, government coordination, detection and forecasting, and warning-center operations. The book also suggests designing effective interagency exercises, using professional emergency-management standards to prepare communities, and prioritizing funding based on tsunami risk.
New discoveries in genomics--that is, the study of the entire human genome--are changing how we diagnose and treat diseases. As the trend shifts from genetic testing largely being undertaken for rare genetic disorders to, increasingly, individuals being screened for common diseases, general practitioners, pediatricians, obstetricians/gynecologists, and other providers need to be knowledgeable about and comfortable using genetic information to improve their patients' health. To address these changes, the Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health held the public workshop "Innovations in Service Delivery in the Age of Genomics" on July 27, 2008.
For multi-user PDF licensing, please contact mailto:email@example.com customer service. Scores of talented and dedicated people serve the forensic science community, performing vitally important work. However, they are often constrained by lack of adequate resources, sound policies, and national support. It is clear that change and advancements, both systematic and scientific, are needed in a number of forensic science disciplines to ensure the reliability of work, establish enforceable standards, and promote best practices with consistent application. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward provides a detailed plan for addressing these needs and suggests the creation of a new government entity, the National Institute of Forensic Science, to establish and enforce standards within the forensic science community. The benefits of improving and regulating the forensic science disciplines are clear: assisting law enforcement officials, enhancing homeland security, and reducing the risk of wrongful conviction and exoneration. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States gives a full account of what is needed to advance the forensic science disciplines, including upgrading of systems and organizational structures, better training, widespread adoption of uniform and enforceable best practices, and mandatory certification and accreditation programs. While this book provides an essential call-to-action for congress and policy makers, it also serves as a vital tool for law enforcement agencies, criminal prosecutors and attorneys, and forensic science educators.
Biomarkers can be defined as indicators of any biologic state, and they are central to the future of medicine. As the cost of developing drugs has risen in recent years, reducing the number of new drugs approved for use, biomarker development may be a way to cut costs, enhance safety, and provide a more focused and rational pathway to drug development. On October 24, 2008, the IOM's Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation held "Assessing and Accelerating Development of Biomarkers for Drug Safety," a one-day workshop, summarized in this volume, on the value of biomarkers in helping to determine drug safety during development.
Evaluation of Safety and Environmental Metrics for Potential Application at Chemical Agent Disposal Facilitiesby National Research Council of the National Academies
By the end of 2009, more than 60 percent of the global chemical weapons stockpile declared by signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention will have been destroyed, and of the 184 signatories, only three countries will possess chemical weapons-the United States, Russia, and Libya. In the United States, destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile began in 1990, when Congress mandated that the Army and its contractors destroy the stockpile while ensuring maximum safety for workers, the public, and the environment. The destruction program has proceeded without serious exposure of any worker or member of the public to chemical agents, and risk to the public from a storage incident involving the aging stockpile has been reduced by more than 90 percent from what it was at the time destruction began on Johnston Island and in the continental United States. At this time, safety at chemical agent disposal facilities is far better than the national average for all industries. Even so, the Army and its contractors are desirous of further improvement. To this end, the Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) asked the NRC to assist by reviewing CMA's existing safety and environmental metrics and making recommendations on which additional metrics might be developed to further improve its safety and environmental programs.
A nuclear attack on a large U.S. city by terrorists--even with a low-yield improvised nuclear device (IND) of 10 kilotons or less--would cause a large number of deaths and severe injuries. The large number of injured from the detonation and radioactive fallout that would follow would be overwhelming for local emergency response and health care systems to rescue and treat, even assuming that these systems and their personnel were not themselves incapacitated by the event. The United States has been struggling for some time to address and plan for the threat of nuclear terrorism and other weapons of mass destruction that terrorists might obtain and use. The Department of Homeland Security recently contracted with the Institute of Medicine to hold a workshop, summarized in this volume, to assess medical preparedness for a nuclear detonation of up to 10 kilotons. This book provides a candid and sobering look at our current state of preparedness for an IND, and identifies several key areas in which we might begin to focus our national efforts in a way that will improve the overall level of preparedness.
NASA maintains a planetary protection policy to avoid the forward biological contamination of other worlds by terrestrial organisms, and back biological contamination of Earth from the return of extraterrestrial materials by spaceflight missions. Forward-contamination issues related to Mars missions were addressed in a 2006 National Research Council (NRC) book, Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars. However, it has been more than 10 years since back-contamination issues were last examined. Driven by a renewed interest in Mars sample return missions, this book reviews, updates, and replaces the planetary protection conclusions and recommendations contained in the NRC's 1997 report Mars Sample Return: Issues and Recommendations. The specific issues addressed in this book include the following: The potential for living entities to be included in samples returned from Mars; Scientific investigations that should be conducted to reduce uncertainty in the above assessment; The potential for large-scale effects on Earth's environment by any returned entity released to the environment; Criteria for intentional sample release, taking note of current and anticipated regulatory frameworks; and The status of technological measures that could be taken on a mission to prevent the inadvertent release of a returned sample into Earth's biosphere.
Despite a strong commitment to delivering quality health care, persistent problems involving medical errors and ineffective treatment continue to plague the industry. Many of these problems are the consequence of poor information and technology (IT) capabilities, and most importantly, the lack cognitive IT support. Clinicians spend a great deal of time sifting through large amounts of raw data, when, ideally, IT systems would place raw data into context with current medical knowledge to provide clinicians with computer models that depict the health status of the patient. Computational Technology for Effective Health Care advocates re-balancing the portfolio of investments in health care IT to place a greater emphasis on providing cognitive support for health care providers, patients, and family caregivers; observing proven principles for success in designing and implementing IT; and accelerating research related to health care in the computer and social sciences and in health/biomedical informatics. Health care professionals, patient safety advocates, as well as IT specialists and engineers, will find this book a useful tool in preparation for crossing the health care IT chasm.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of several federal agencies responsible for protecting Americans against significant risks to human health and the environment. As part of that mission, EPA estimates the nature, magnitude, and likelihood of risks to human health and the environment; identifies the potential regulatory actions that will mitigate those risks and protect public health1 and the environment; and uses that information to decide on appropriate regulatory action. Uncertainties, both qualitative and quantitative, in the data and analyses on which these decisions are based enter into the process at each step. As a result, the informed identification and use of the uncertainties inherent in the process is an essential feature of environmental decision making. EPA requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) convene a committee to provide guidance to its decision makers and their partners in states and localities on approaches to managing risk in different contexts when uncertainty is present. It also sought guidance on how information on uncertainty should be presented to help risk managers make sound decisions and to increase transparency in its communications with the public about those decisions. Given that its charge is not limited to human health risk assessment and includes broad questions about managing risks and decision making, in this report the committee examines the analysis of uncertainty in those other areas in addition to human health risks. Environmental Decisions in the Face of Uncertainty explains the statement of task and summarizes the findings of the committee.
New Directions in Climate Change VULNERABILITY, IMPACTS, AND ADAPTATION ASSESSMENT: SUMMARY OF A WORKSHOPby National Research Council of the National Academies
With effective climate change mitigation policies still under development, and with even the most aggressive proposals unable to halt climate change immediately, many decision makers are focusing unprecedented attention on the need for strategies to adapt to climate changes that are now unavoidable. The effects of climate change will touch every corner of the world's economies and societies; adaptation is inevitable. The remaining question is to what extent humans will anticipate and reduce undesired consequences of climate change, or postpone response until after climate change impacts have altered ecological and socioeconomic systems so significantly that opportunities for adaptation become limited. This book summarizes a National Research Council workshop at which presentations and discussion identified specific needs associated with this gap between the demand and supply of scientific information about climate change adaptation.
The Small Business Administration issued a policy directive in 2002, the effect of which has been to exclude innovative small firms in which venture capital firms have a controlling interest from the SBIR program. This book seeks to illuminate the consequences of the SBA ruling excluding majority-owned venture capital firms from participation in SBIR projects. This book is part of the National Research Council's study to evaluate the SBIR program's quality of research and value to the missions of five government agencies. The other books in the series include: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11989 An Assessment of the SBIR Program (2008) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11929 An Assessment of the SBIR Program at the National Science Foundation (2007) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11964 An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the National Institutes of Health (2009) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12052 An Assessment of Small Business Innovation Research Program at the Department of Energy (2008) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12441 An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2009) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11963 An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the Department of Defense (2009).
Sustainable development--meeting human needs while nurturing and restoring the planet's life support systems--requires a continuous process of scientific innovation, new knowledge and learning, and collaborative approaches to implementing technologies and policies. To address these challenges, different stakeholder groups are increasingly seeking to ally themselves through partnership, in order to implement projects, deliver services, establish secure funding mechanisms, and achieve on the ground results. Advocates of this collaborative approach point to the failure of governmental regulations, international commitments, or business as usual. However, skeptics often question the effectiveness of partnerships at achieving sustainable development goals and, in the absence of demonstrated results, wonder where partnerships are adding value. A symposium held in June 2008 and summarized in this volume, attempted to advance the dialogue on partnerships for sustainability in order to catalyze existing knowledge and inform future efforts. Ideas that came out of discussions at the symposium will help leaders in government, the private sector, foundations and NGOs, and universities, both in the United States and internationally, as they develop and participate in new partnerships for sustainability.
Strengthening High School Chemistry Education Through Teacher Outreach Programs: A Workshop Summary To The Chemical Sciences Roundtableby National Research Council of the National Academies
A strong chemical workforce in the United States will be essential to the ability to address many issues of societal concern in the future, including demand for renewable energy, more advanced materials, and more sophisticated pharmaceuticals. High school chemistry teachers have a critical role to play in engaging and supporting the chemical workforce of the future, but they must be sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled to produce the levels of scientific literacy that students need to succeed. To identify key leverage points for improving high school chemistry education, the National Academies' Chemical Sciences Roundtable held a public workshop, summarized in this volume, that brought together representatives from government, industry, academia, scientific societies, and foundations involved in outreach programs for high school chemistry teachers. Presentations at the workshop, which was held in August 2008, addressed the current status of high school chemistry education; provided examples of public and private outreach programs for high school chemistry teachers; and explored ways to evaluate the success of these outreach programs.
The mission of the NIST Physics Laboratory is to support U.S. industry, government, and the scientific community by providing measurement services and research for electronic, optical, and radiation technology. In this respect, the laboratory provides the foundation for the metrology of optical and ionizing radiations, time and frequency, and fundamental quantum processes, historically major areas of standards and technology. The Panel on Physics visited the six divisions of the laboratory and reviewed a selected sample of their programs and projects. This book finds that the overall quality and productivity of the Physics Laboratory are comparable to or better than those of other peer institutions, an accomplishment that is being achieved with an infrastructure that is smaller in both size and funding than the size and funding of most national and agency laboratories in the United States.
An Assessment Of The National Institute Of Standards And Technology Building And Fire Research Laboratory: Fiscal Year 2008by National Research Council of the National Academies
A panel of experts appointed by the National Research Council assessed the scientific and technical work of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The scope of the assessment included the following criteria: (1) the technical merit of the current laboratory programs relative to the current state of the art worldwide; (2) the adequacy of the laboratory facilities, equipment, and human resources, as they affect the quality of the laboratory technical programs; and (3) the degree to which the laboratory programs in measurement science and standards achieve their stated objectives and desired impact. The book finds that, overall the technical merit of the programs reviewed within the BFRL is very high and generally at a state-of-the-art level. The programs have clear ties to the overall BFRL Strategic Priority Areas and are well aligned with the mission of NIST, which is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.
An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Engineering Laboratoryby National Research Council Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences Laboratory Assessments Board Panel on Manufacturing Engineering
The mission of the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (MEL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is to promote innovation and the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing through measurement science, measurement services, and critical technical contributions to standards. The MEL is organized in five divisions: Intelligent Systems, Manufacturing Metrology, Manufacturing Systems Integration, Precision Engineering, and Fabrication Technology. A panel of experts appointed by the National Research Council (NRC) assessed the first four divisions. Overall, this book finds that the four individual divisions are performing to the best of their ability, given available resources. In many areas in all four divisions, the capabilities and the work being performed are among the best in the field. However, reduced funding and other factors such as difficulty in hiring permanent staff are limiting (and are likely to increasingly limit) the degree to which MEL programs can achieve their objectives and are threatening the future impact of these programs.
An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Materials Science and Engineering Laboratoryby National Research Council Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences Laboratory Assessments Board Panel on Materials Science and Engineering
The Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory (MSEL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) works with industry, standards bodies, universities, and other government laboratories to improve the nation's measurements and standards infrastructure for materials. A panel of experts appointed by the National Research Council (NRC) assessed the four divisions of MSEL, by visiting these divisions and reviewing their activities. This book concludes that, for the selected portion of the MSEL programs reviewed, the staff, the projects, and many facilities are outstanding. The projects are clearly focused on the mission of MSEL. The facilities and equipment are rationally upgraded within budget constraints, with several facilities being unique; the funding provided through the America COMPETES Act of 2007 is being used effectively. Division chiefs and staff evinced high morale, attributable to several factors: clear definitions of expectations and of the processes for realizing them, strong support of the MSEL from NIST leadership and of NIST generally from the President and from the Congress (through the American Competitiveness Initiative and the America COMPETES Act), and positive feedback from customers.
Many economic models exist to estimate the cost and effectiveness of different policies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some approaches incorporate rich technological detail, others emphasize the aggregate behavior of the economy and energy system, and some focus on impacts for specific sectors. Understandably, different approaches may be better positioned to provide particular types of information and may yield differing results, at times rendering decisions on future climate change emissions and research and development (R&D) policy difficult. Reliable estimates of the costs and benefits to the U.S. economy for various emissions reduction and adaptation strategies are critical to federal climate change R&D portfolio planning and investment decisions. At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Academies organized a workshop to consider these issues. The workshop, summarized in this volume, comprised three dimensions: policy, analysis, and economics. Discussions along these dimensions were meant to lead to constructive identification of gaps and opportunities. The workshop focused on (1) policymakers' informational needs; (2) models and other analytic approaches to meet these needs; (3) important economic considerations, including equity and discounting; and (4) opportunities to enhance analytical capabilities and better inform policy.
Dual loyalties exist in many medical fields, from occupational health to public health. Military health professionals, as all health professionals, are ethically responsible for their patients' well-being. In some situations, however, military health professionals can face unique ethical tensions between responsibilities to individual patients and responsibilities to military operations. This book summarizes the one-day workshop, Military Medical Ethics: Issues Regarding Dual Loyalties, which brought together academic, military, human rights, and health professionals to discuss these ethical challenges. The workshop examined two case studies: decisions regarding returning a servicemember to duty after a closed head injury, and decisions on actions by health professionals regarding a hunger strike by detainees. The workshop also addressed the need for improvements in medical ethics training and outlined steps for organizations to take in supporting better ethical awareness and use of ethical standards.
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