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Models are fundamental for estimating the possible costs and effectiveness of different policies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There is a wide array of models to perform such analysis, differing in the level of technological detail, treatment of technological progress, spatial and sector details, and representation of the interaction of the energy sector to the overall economy and environment. These differences impact model results, including cost estimates. More fundamentally, these models differ as to how they represent fundamental processes that have a large impact on policy analysis--such as how different models represent technological learning and cost reductions that come through increasing production volumes, or how different models represent baseline conditions. Reliable estimates of the costs and potential impacts on the United States economy of various emissions reduction and other mitigation strategies are critical to the development of the federal climate change research and development portfolio. At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Academies organized a workshop, summarized in this volume, to consider some of these types of modeling issues.
Public Health Effectiveness of the FDA 510(K) Clearance Process: Measuring Postmarket Performance and Other Select Topics - Workshop Reportby Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring that medical devices are safe and effective before they go on the market. As part of its assessment of the FDA's premarket clearance process for medical devices, the IOM held a workshop on July 28 to discuss how medical devices are monitored for safety after they are available to consumers. This document summarizes the workshop.
Historically, the flow of sediment in the Missouri River has been as important as the flow of water for a variety of river functions. The sediment has helped form a dynamic network of islands, sandbars, and floodplains, and provided habitats for native species. Further downstream, sediment transported by the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers has helped build and sustain the coastal wetlands of the Mississippi River delta. The construction of dams and river bank control structures on the Missouri River and its tributaries, however, has markedly reduced the volume of sediment transported by the river. These projects have had several ecological impacts, most notably on some native fish and bird species that depended on habitats and landforms created by sediment flow. Missouri River Planning describes the historic role of sediment in the Missouri River, evaluates current habitat restoration strategies, and discusses possible sediment management alternatives. The book finds that a better understanding of the processes of sediment transport, erosion, and deposition in the Missouri River will be useful in furthering river management objectives, such as protection of endangered species and development of water quality standards.
As the second decade of the 21st century begins, the challenge of how to feed a growing world population and provide sustainable, affordable energy to fulfill daily needs, while also improving human health and protecting the environment, is clear and urgent. Increasing demand for food and energy is projected at the same time as the supply of land and other resources decrease. Increasing levels of greenhouse gasses alter climate, which, in turn, has life-changing implications for a broad range of plant and animal species. But promising developments are on the horizon--scientific discoveries and technologies that have the potential to contribute practical solutions to these seemingly intractable problems. As described in the 2009 National Research Council book, A New Biology for the 21st Century, biological research has experienced extraordinary scientific and technological advances in recent years that have allowed biologists to collect and make sense of ever more detailed observations at ever smaller time intervals. With these advances have come increasingly fruitful collaborations of biologists with scientists and engineers from other disciplines. A New Biology for the 21st Century called for a series of workshops to provide concrete examples of what New Biology research programs could look like. The present volume summarizes the first of those workshops, Implementing the New Biology: Decadal Challenges Linking Food, Energy, and the Environment.
Nearly nine out of 10 adults have difficulty using everyday health information to make good health decisions. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy held a meeting on May 27, 2010, to explore areas for research in health literacy, the relationship between health literacy and health disparities, and ways to apply information technology to improve health literacy.
Establishing Precompetitive Collaborations to Stimulate Genomics-Driven Drug Development: Workshop Summaryby The National Academy of Sciences
Despite the many basic research discoveries in genetics, relatively few gene-based treatments, drugs, or preventative measures have been developed. One way to bridge this gap may be for industry, academia, and government to develop partnerships that share resources while distributing risk. However, intellectual property protections and other barriers can inhibit collaborative efforts. The Institute of Medicine held a workshop on July 22, 2010, to explore these issues and develop solutions.
Educators and policy makers in the United States have relied on tests to measure educational progress for more than 150 years, and have used the results for many purposes. They have tried minimum competency testing; portfolios; multiple-choice items, brief and extended constructed-response items; and more. They have contended with concerns about student privacy, test content, and equity--and they have responded to calls for tests to answer many kinds of questions about public education and literacy, international comparisons, accountability, and even property values. State assessment data have been cited as evidence for claims about many achievements of public education, and the tests have also been blamed for significant failings. States are now considering whether to adopt the "common core" academic standards, and are also competing for federal dollars from the Department of Education's Race to the Top initiative. Both of these activities are intended to help make educational standards clearer and more concise and to set higher standards for students. As standards come under new scrutiny, so, too, do the assessments that measure their results. This book summarizes two workshops convened to collect information and perspectives on assessment in order to help state officials and others as they review current assessment practices and consider improvements.
Despite having the costliest medical care delivery system in the world, Americans are not particularly healthy. While this information is alarming, the bigger problem is that we do not know how to reverse this trend. Our lack of knowledge is due in large part to significant inadequacies in the system for gathering, analyzing, and communicating health information about the population. In this report, the IOM reviews current approaches for measuring the health of individuals and communities and creates a roadmap for future development.
Biological differences between the sexes influence not only individual health but also public health, biomedical research, and health care. The Institute of Medicine held a workshop March 8-9, 2010, to discuss sex differences and their implications for translational neuroscience research, which bridges the gap between scientific discovery and application.
Thirty years ago federal policy underwent a major change through the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, which fostered greater uniformity in the way research agencies treat inventions arising from the work they sponsor. Before the Act, if government agencies funded university research, the funding agency retained ownership of the knowledge and technologies that resulted. However, very little federally funded research was actually commercialized. As a result of the Act's passage, patenting and licensing activity from such research has accelerated. Although the system created by the Act has remained stable, it has generated debate about whether it might impede other forms of knowledge transfer. Concerns have also arisen that universities might prioritize commercialization at the expense of their traditional mission to pursue fundamental knowledge--for example, by steering research away from curiosity-driven topics toward applications that could yield financial returns. To address these concerns, the National Research Council convened a committee of experts from universities, industry, foundations, and similar organizations, as well as scholars of the subject, to review experience and evidence of the technology transfer system's effects and to recommend improvements. The present volume summarizes the committee's principal findings and recommendations.
HIV/AIDS is a catastrophe globally but nowhere more so than in sub-Saharan Africa, which in 2008 accounted for 67 percent of cases worldwide and 91 percent of new infections. The Institute of Medicine recommends that the United States and African nations move toward a strategy of shared responsibility such that these nations are empowered to take ownership of their HIV/AIDS problem and work to solve it.
Although the progress of environmental restoration projects in the Florida Everglades remains slow overall, there have been improvements in the pace of restoration and in the relationship between the federal and state partners over the last two years. However, the importance of several challenges related to water quantity and quality have become clear, highlighting the difficulty in achieving restoration goals for all ecosystem components in all portions of the Everglades. Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades explores these challenges. The book stresses that rigorous scientific analyses of the tradeoffs between water quality and quantity and between the hydrologic requirements of Everglades features and species are needed to inform future prioritization and funding decisions.
The United States and China are the world's top two energy consumers and, as of 2010, the two largest economies. Consequently, they have a decisive role to play in the world's clean energy future. Both countries are also motivated by related goals, namely diversified energy portfolios, job creation, energy security, and pollution reduction, making renewable energy development an important strategy with wide-ranging implications. Given the size of their energy markets, any substantial progress the two countries make in advancing use of renewable energy will provide global benefits, in terms of enhanced technological understanding, reduced costs through expanded deployment, and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to conventional generation from fossil fuels. Within this context, the U.S. National Academies, in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), reviewed renewable energy development and deployment in the two countries, to highlight prospects for collaboration across the research to deployment chain and to suggest strategies which would promote more rapid and economical attainment of renewable energy goals. Main findings and concerning renewable resource assessments, technology development, environmental impacts, market infrastructure, among others, are presented. Specific recommendations have been limited to those judged to be most likely to accelerate the pace of deployment, increase cost-competitiveness, or shape the future market for renewable energy. The recommendations presented here are also pragmatic and achievable.
Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America'S Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroadsby National Academy Of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
In order for the United States to maintain the global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology that are critical to achieving national goals, we must invest in research, encourage innovation, and grow a strong and talented science and technology workforce. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation explores the role of diversity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce and its value in keeping America innovative and competitive. According to the book, the U.S. labor market is projected to grow faster in science and engineering than in any other sector in the coming years, making minority participation in STEM education at all levels a national priority. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation analyzes the rate of change and the challenges the nation currently faces in developing a strong and diverse workforce. Although minorities are the fastest growing segment of the population, they are underrepresented in the fields of science and engineering. Historically, there has been a strong connection between increasing educational attainment in the United States and the growth in and global leadership of the economy. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation suggests that the federal government, industry, and post-secondary institutions work collaboratively with K-12 schools and school systems to increase minority access to and demand for post-secondary STEM education and technical training. The book also identifies best practices and offers a comprehensive road map for increasing involvement of underrepresented minorities and improving the quality of their education. It offers recommendations that focus on academic and social support, institutional roles, teacher preparation, affordability and program development.
Every ten years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, titled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall priorities and recommendations for the field as a whole based on a broad and comprehensive examination of scientific opportunities, infrastructure, and organization in a national and international context. Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics is a collection of reports, each of which addresses a key sub-area of the field, prepared by specialists in that subarea, and each of which played an important role in setting overall priorities for the field. The collection, published in a single volume, includes the reports of the following panels: Cosmology and Fundamental Physics Galaxies Across Cosmic Time The Galactic Neighborhood Stars and Stellar Evolution Planetary Systems and Star Formation Electromagnetic Observations from Space Optical and Infrared Astronomy from the Ground Particle Astrophysics and Gravitation Radio, Millimeter, and Submillimeter Astronomy from the Ground The Committee for a Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics synthesized these reports in the preparation of its prioritized recommendations for the field as a whole. These reports provide additional depth and detail in each of their respective areas. Taken together, they form an essential companion volume to New Worlds, New Horizons: A Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The book of panel reports will be useful to managers of programs of research in the field of astronomy and astrophysics, the Congressional committees with jurisdiction over the agencies supporting this research, the scientific community, and the public.
Challenges and Opportunities in Using Residual Newborn Screening Samples for Translational Research: Workshop Summaryby Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
Newborn screening samples are used to test more than 4 million infants each year for life-threatening diseases that are treatable if found at birth. These specimens also represent a potentially invaluable resource for public health and biomedical research. The IOM held a workshop to examine issues surrounding the use of residual specimens for translational research.
The end of dramatic exponential growth in single-processor performance marks the end of the dominance of the single microprocessor in computing. The era of sequential computing must give way to a new era in which parallelism is at the forefront. Although important scientific and engineering challenges lie ahead, this is an opportune time for innovation in programming systems and computing architectures. We have already begun to see diversity in computer designs to optimize for such considerations as power and throughput. The next generation of discoveries is likely to require advances at both the hardware and software levels of computing systems. There is no guarantee that we can make parallel computing as common and easy to use as yesterday's sequential single-processor computer systems, but unless we aggressively pursue efforts suggested by the recommendations in this book, it will be "game over" for growth in computing performance. If parallel programming and related software efforts fail to become widespread, the development of exciting new applications that drive the computer industry will stall; if such innovation stalls, many other parts of the economy will follow suit. The Future of Computing Performance describes the factors that have led to the future limitations on growth for single processors that are based on complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. It explores challenges inherent in parallel computing and architecture, including ever-increasing power consumption and the escalated requirements for heat dissipation. The book delineates a research, practice, and education agenda to help overcome these challenges. The Future of Computing Performance will guide researchers, manufacturers, and information technology professionals in the right direction for sustainable growth in computer performance, so that we may all enjoy the next level of benefits to society.
This book is the ninth volume in the series Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals, and reviews AEGLs for bromine, ethylene oxide, furan, hydrogen sulfide, propylene oxide, and xylenes.
Despite efforts to reduce drug consumption in the United States over the past 35 years, drugs are just as cheap and available as they have ever been. Cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines continue to cause great harm in the country, particularly in minority communities in the major cities. Marijuana use remains a part of adolescent development for about half of the country's young people, although there is controversy about the extent of its harm.Given the persistence of drug demand in the face of lengthy and expensive efforts to control the markets, the National Institute of Justice asked the National Research Council to undertake a study of current research on the demand for drugs in order to help better focus national efforts to reduce that demand. This study complements the 2003 book, Informing America's Policy on Illegal Drugs by giving more attention to the sources of demand and assessing the potential of demand-side interventions to make a substantial difference to the nation's drug problems. Understanding the Demand for Illegal Drugs therefore focuses tightly on demand models in the field of economics and evaluates the data needs for advancing this relatively undeveloped area of investigation.
Every year at least 1.5 million people suffer adverse effects from medication. These problems occur because people misunderstand labels, are unaware of drug interactions, or otherwise use medication improperly. The Food and Drug Administration's Safe Use Initiative seeks to identify preventable medication risks and develop solutions to them. The IOM held a workshop to discuss the FDA's Safe Use Initiative and other efforts to improve drug labeling and safety.
The events of September 11, 2001 changed perceptions, rearranged national priorities, and produced significant new government entities, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created in 2003. While the principal mission of DHS is to lead efforts to secure the nation against those forces that wish to do harm, the department also has responsibilities in regard to preparation for and response to other hazards and disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, and other "natural" disasters. Whether in the context of preparedness, response or recovery from terrorism, illegal entry to the country, or natural disasters, DHS is committed to processes and methods that feature risk assessment as a critical component for making better-informed decisions. Review of the Department of Homeland Security's Approach to Risk Analysis explores how DHS is building its capabilities in risk analysis to inform decision making. The department uses risk analysis to inform decisions ranging from high-level policy choices to fine-scale protocols that guide the minute-by-minute actions of DHS employees. Although DHS is responsible for mitigating a range of threats, natural disasters, and pandemics, its risk analysis efforts are weighted heavily toward terrorism. In addition to assessing the capability of DHS risk analysis methods to support decision-making, the book evaluates the quality of the current approach to estimating risk and discusses how to improve current risk analysis procedures. Review of the Department of Homeland Security's Approach to Risk Analysis recommends that DHS continue to build its integrated risk management framework. It also suggests that the department improve the way models are developed and used and follow time-tested scientific practices, among other recommendations.
Select Agents are defined in regulations through a list of names of particularly dangerous known bacteria, viruses, toxins, and fungi. However, natural variation and intentional genetic modification blur the boundaries of any discrete Select Agent list based on names. Access to technologies that can generate or 'synthesize' any DNA sequence is expanding, making it easier and less expensive for researchers, industry scientists, and amateur users to create organisms without needing to obtain samples of existing stocks or cultures. This has led to growing concerns that these DNA synthesis technologies might be used to synthesize Select Agents, modify such agents by introducing small changes to the genetic sequence, or create entirely new pathogens. Amid these concerns, the National Institutes of Health requested that the Research Council investigate the science and technology needed to replace the current Select Agent list with an oversight system that predicts if a DNA sequence could be used to produce an organism that should be regulated as a Select Agent. A DNA sequence-based system to better define when a pathogen or toxin is subject to Select Agent regulations could be developed. This could be coupled with a 'yellow flag' system that would recognize requests to synthesize suspicious sequences and serve as a reference to anyone with relevant questions, allowing for appropriate follow-up. Sequence-Based Classification of Select Agents finds that replacing the current list of Select Agents with a system that could predict if fragments of DNA sequences could be used to produce novel pathogens with Select Agent characteristics is not feasible. However, it emphasized that for the foreseeable future, any threat from synthetic biology and synthetic genomics is far more likely to come from assembling known Select Agents, or modifications of them, rather than construction of previously unknown agents. Therefore, the book recommends modernizing the regulations to define Select Agents in terms of their gene sequences, not by their names, and called this 'sequence-based classification.'
More than half of the world's people now live in cities. In the U.S., the figure is 80 percent. It is worthwhile to consider how this trend of increased urbanization, if inevitable, could be made more sustainable. One fundamental shortcoming of urban research and programs is that they sometimes fail to recognize urban areas as systems. Current institutions and actors are not accustomed to exploring human-environment interactions, particularly at an urban-scale. The fact is that these issues involve complex interactions, many of which are not yet fully understood. Thus a key challenge for the 21st century is this: How can we develop sustainable urban systems that provide healthy, safe and affordable environments for the growing number of Americans living in cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas? To address this question, the National Research Council organized a workshop exploring the landscape of urban sustainability research programs in the United States. The workshop, summarized in this volume, was designed to allow participants to share information about the activities and planning efforts of federal agencies, along with related initiatives by universities, the private sector, nongovernmental groups, state and local agencies, and international organizations. Participants were encouraged to explore how urban sustainability can move beyond analyses devoted to single disciplines and sectors to systems-level thinking and effective interagency cooperation. To do this, participants examined areas of potential coordination among different R&D programs, with special consideration given to how the efforts of federal agencies can best complement and leverage the efforts of other key stakeholders. <i>Pathways to Urban Sustainability</i> offers a broad contextual summary of workshop presentations and discussions for distribution to federal agencies, regional organizations, academic institutions, think tanks and other groups engaged in urban research.
Building a National Framework for the Establishment of Regulatory Science for Drug Development: Workshop Summaryby Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked with ensuring the safety and effectiveness of medicine. FDA's science base must be strong enough to make certain that regulatory decisions are based on the best scientific evidence. The IOM held a public workshop on February 26, 2010, to examine the state of regulatory science and to consider approaches for enhancing it.
Does a longer life mean a healthier life? The number of adults over 65 in the United States is growing, but many may not be aware that they are at greater risk from foodborne diseases and their nutritional needs change as they age. The IOM's Food Forum held a workshop October 29-30, 2009, to discuss food safety and nutrition concerns for older adults.
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