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Manufacturing, reduced to its simplest form, involves the sequencing of product forms through a number of different processes. Each individual step, known as an unit manufacturing process, can be viewed as the fundamental building block of a nation's manufacturing capability. A committee of the National Research Council has prepared a report to help define national priorities for research in unit processes. It contains an organizing framework for unit process families, criteria for determining the criticality of a process or manufacturing technology, examples of research opportunities, and a prioritized list of enabling technologies that can lead to the manufacture of products of superior quality at competitive costs. The study was performed under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation and the Defense Department's Manufacturing Technology Program.
Since George Gaylord Simpson published Tempo and Mode in Evolution in 1944, discoveries in paleontology and genetics have abounded. This volume brings together the findings and insights of today's leading experts in the study of evolution, including Ayala, W. Ford Doolittle, and Stephen Jay Gould.The volume examines early cellular evolution, explores changes in the tempo of evolution between the Precambrian and Phanerozoic periods, and reconstructs the Cambrian evolutionary burst. Long-neglected despite Darwin's interest in it, species extinction is discussed in detail.Although the absence of data kept Simpson from exploring human evolution in his book, the current volume covers morphological and genetic changes in human populations, contradicting the popular claim that all modern humans descend from a single woman.This book discusses the role of molecular clocks, the results of evolution in 12 populations of Escherichia coli propagated for 10,000 generations, a physical map of Drosophila chromosomes, and evidence for "hitchhiking" by mutations.
Radioactive isotopes and enriched stable isotopes are used widely in medicine, agriculture, industry, and science, where their application allows us to perform many tasks more accurately, more simply, less expensively, and more quickly than would otherwise be possible. Indeed, in many cases--for example, biological tracers--there is no alternative. In a stellar example of "technology transfer" that began before the term was popular, the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessors has supported the development and application of isotopes and their transfer to the private sector. The DOE is now at an important crossroads: Isotope production has suffered as support for DOE's laboratories has declined. In response to a DOE request, this book is an intensive examination of isotope production and availability, including the education and training of those who will be needed to sustain the flow of radioactive and stable materials from their sources to the laboratories and medical care facilities in which they are used. Chapters include an examination of enriched stable isotopes; reactor and accelerator-produced radionuclides; partnerships among industries, national laboratories, and universities; and national isotope policy.
Evidence suggests that medical innovation is becoming increasingly dependent on interdisciplinary research and on the crossing of institutional boundaries. This volume focuses on the conditions governing the supply of new medical technologies and suggest that the boundaries between disciplines, institutions, and the private and public sectors have been redrawn and reshaped. Individual essays explore the nature, organization, and management of interdisciplinary R&D in medicine; the introduction into clinical practice of the laser, endoscopic innovations, cochlear implantation, cardiovascular imaging technologies, and synthetic insulin; the division of innovating labor in biotechnology; the government- industry-university interface; perspectives on industrial R&D management; and the growing intertwining of the public and proprietary in medical technology.
Preserving Scientific Data On Our Physical Universe: A New Strategy for Archiving the Nation's Scientific Information Resourcesby Steering Committee for the Study on the Long-term Retention of Selected Scientific Technical Records of the Federal Government
This book advises the National Archives and Records Administration and federal R&D agencies on the long-term retention of scientific and technical data, particularly in electronic formats. It proposes the creation of a National Scientific Information Resource Federation, which would apply a strategic data life-cycle management plan to better link the government's existing scientific data holdings and improve public access to those holdings. The book is expected to draw attention to data management concerns in the context of the current government emphasis on promoting a National Information Infrastructure and to make a significant contribution to improving the inadequate situation regarding our nation's valuable scientific data and information resources.
The U.S. census, conducted every 10 years since 1790, faces dramatic new challenges as the country begins its third century. Critics of the 1990 census cited problems of increasingly high costs, continued racial differences in counting the population, and declining public confidence.This volume provides a major review of the traditional U.S. census. Starting from the most basic questions of how data are used and whether they are needed, the volume examines the data that future censuses should provide. It evaluates several radical proposals that have been made for changing the census, as well as other proposals for redesigning the year 2000 census. The book also considers in detail the much-criticized long form, the role of race and ethnic data, and the need for and ways to obtain small-area data between censuses.
This book describes a vision of manufacturing in the twenty-first century that maximizes efficiencies and improvements by exploiting the full power of information and provides a research agenda for information technology and manufacturing that is necessary for success in achieving such a vision. Research on information technology to support product and process design, shop-floor operations, and flexible manufacturing is described. Roles for virtual manufacturing and the information infrastructure are also addressed. A final chapter is devoted to nontechnical research issues.
Advances in materials science and engineering have paved the way for the development of new and more capable sensors. Drawing upon case studies from manufacturing and structural monitoring and involving chemical and long wave-length infrared sensors, this book suggests an approach that frames the relevant technical issues in such a way as to expedite the consideration of new and novel sensor materials. It enables a multidisciplinary approach for identifying opportunities and making realistic assessments of technical risk and could be used to guide relevant research and development in sensor technologies.
People are increasingly concerned about potential environmental health hazards and often ask their physicians questions such as: "Is the tap water safe to drink?" "Is it safe to live near power lines?" Unfortunately, physicians often lack the information and training related to environmental health risks needed to answer such questions. This book discusses six competency based learning objectives for all medical school students, discusses the relevance of environmental health to specific courses and clerkships, and demonstrates how to integrate environmental health into the curriculum through published case studies, some of which are included in one of the book's three appendices. Also included is a guide on where to obtain additional information for treatment, referral, and follow-up for diseases with possible environmental and/or occupational origins.
Despite widespread interest in virtual reality, research and development efforts in synthetic environments (SE)--the field encompassing virtual environments, teleoperation, and hybrids--have remained fragmented.Virtual Reality is the first integrated treatment of the topic, presenting current knowledge along with thought-provoking vignettes about a future where SE is commonplace.This volume discusses all aspects of creating a system that will allow human operators to see, hear, smell, taste, move about, give commands, respond to conditions, and manipulate objects effectively in a real or virtual environment. The committee of computer scientists, engineers, and psychologists on the leading edge of SE development explores the potential applications of SE in the areas of manufacturing, medicine, education, training, scientific visualization, and teleoperation in hazardous environments.The committee also offers recommendations for development of improved SE technology, needed studies of human behavior and evaluation of SE systems, and government policy and infrastructure.
Wetlands has become a hot word in the current environmental debate. But what does it signify? In 1991, proposed changes in the legal definities of wetlands stirred controversy and focused attention on the scientific and economic aspects of their management.This volume explores how to define wetlands. The committee--whose members were drawn from academia, government, business, and the environmental community--builds a rational, scientific basis for delineating wetlands in the landscape and offers recommendations for further action.Wetlands also discusses the diverse hydrological and ecological functions of wetlands, and makes recommendations concerning so-called controversial areas such as permafrost wetlands, riparian ecosystems, irregularly flooded sites, and agricultural wetlands. It presents criteria for identifying wetlands and explores the problems of applying those criteria when there are seasonal changes in water levels.This comprehensive and practical volume will be of interest to environmental scientists and advocates, hydrologists, policymakers, regulators, faculty, researchers, and students of environmental studies.
Technological Trajectories and the Human Environment provides a surprising projection of a much greener planet, based on long-range analysis of trends in the efficient use of energy, materials, and land.The authors argue that we will decarbonize the global energy system and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We will dematerialize the economy by leaner manufacturing, better product design, and smart use of materials. We will significantly increase land areas reserved for nature by conducting highly productive and environmentally friendly agriculture on less land than is used today, even as global population doubles.The book concludes that the technological opportunities before us offer the possibility of a vastly superior industrial ecology. Rich in both data and theory, the book offers fresh analyses essential for everyone in the environmental arena concerned with global change, sustainable development, and profitable investments in technology.
Breakthroughs in biomedicine often lead to new life-giving treatments but may also raise troubling, even life-and-death, quandaries.Society's Choices discusses ways for people to handle today's bioethics issues in the context of America's unique history and culture--and from the perspectives of various interest groups.The book explores how Americans have grappled with specific aspects of bioethics through commission deliberations, programs by organizations, and other mechanisms and identifies criteria for evaluating the outcomes of these efforts. The committee offers recommendations on the role of government and professional societies, the function of commissions and institutional review boards, and bioethics in health professional education and research.The volume includes a series of 12 superb background papers on public moral discourse, mechanisms for handling social and ethical dilemmas, and other specific areas of controversy by well-known experts Ronald Bayer, Martin Benjamin, Dan W. Brock, Baruch A. Brody, H. Alta Charo, Lawrence Gostin, Bradford H. Gray, Kathi E. Hanna, Elizabeth Heitman, Thomas Nagel, Steven Shapin, and Charles M. Swezey.
Nearly one out of every three adults in America is obese and tens of millions of people in the United States are dieting at any one time. This has resulted in a weight-loss industry worth billions of dollars a year and growing. What are the long-term results of weight-loss programs? How can people sort through the many programs available and select one that is right for them? Weighing the Options strives to answer these questions. Despite widespread public concern about weight, few studies have examined the long-term results of weight-loss programs. One reason that evaluating obesity management is difficult is that no other treatment depends so much on an individual's own initiative and state of mind.Now, a distinguished group of experts assembled by the Institute of Medicine addresses this compelling issue. Weighing the Options presents criteria for evaluating treatment programs for obesity and explores what these criteria mean--to health care providers, program designers, researchers, and even overweight people seeking help.In presenting its criteria the authors offer a wealth of information about weight loss: how obesity is on the rise, what types of weight-loss programs are available, how to define obesity, how well we maintain weight loss, and what approaches and practices appear to be most successful.Information about weight-loss programs--their clients, staff qualifications, services, and success rates--necessary to make wise program choices is discussed in detail.The book examines how client demographics and characteristics--including health status, knowledge of weight-loss issues, and attitude toward weight and body image--affect which programs clients choose, how successful they are likely to be with their choices, and what this means for outcome measurement. Short- and long-term safety consequences of weight loss are discussed as well as clinical assessment of individual patients.The authors document the health risks of being overweight, summarizing data indicating that even a small weight loss reduces the risk of disease and depression and increases self-esteem. At the same time, weight loss has been associated with some poor outcomes, and the book discusses the implications for program evaluation.Prevention can be even more important than treatment. In Weighing the Options, programs for population groups, efforts targeted to specific groups at high risk for obesity, and prevention of further weight gain in obese individuals get special attention.This book provides detailed guidance on how the weight-loss industry can improve its programs to help people be more successful at long-term weight loss. And it provides consumers with tips on selecting a program that will improve their chances of permanently losing excess weight.
Each year's poverty figures are anxiously awaited by policymakers, analysts, and the media. Yet questions are increasing about the 30-year-old measure as social and economic conditions change. In Measuring Poverty a distinguished panel provides policymakers with an up-to-date evaluation of Concepts and procedures for deriving the poverty threshold, including adjustments for different family circumstances. Definitions of family resources. Procedures for annual updates of poverty measures. The volume explores specific issues underlying the poverty measure, analyzes the likely effects of any changes on poverty rates, and discusses the impact on eligibility for public benefits. In supporting its recommendations the panel provides insightful recognition of the political and social dimensions of this key economic indicator. Measuring Poverty will be important to government officials, policy analysts, statisticians, economists, researchers, and others involved in virtually all poverty and social welfare issues.
What can we expect as global change progresses? Will there be thresholds that trigger sudden shifts in environmental conditions--or that cause catastrophic destruction of life?Effects of Past Global Change on Life explores what earth scientists are learning about the impact of large-scale environmental changes on ancient life--and how these findings may help us resolve today's environmental controversies.Leading authorities discuss historical climate trends and what can be learned from the mass extinctions and other critical periods about the rise and fall of plant and animal species in response to global change. The volume develops a picture of how environmental change has closed some evolutionary doors while opening others--including profound effects on the early members of the human family.An expert panel offers specific recommendations on expanding research and improving investigative tools--and targets historical periods and geological and biological patterns with the most promise of shedding light on future developments.This readable and informative book will be of special interest to professionals in the earth sciences and the environmental community as well as concerned policymakers.
In the years since the third edition of this indispensable reference was published, a great deal has been learned about the nutritional requirements of common laboratory species: rat, mouse, guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, and vole. The Fourth Revised Edition presents the current expert understanding of the lipid, carbohydrate, protein, mineral, vitamin, and other nutritional needs of these animals. The extensive use of tables provides easy access to a wealth of comprehensive data and resource information. The volume also provides an expanded background discussion of general dietary considerations. In addition to a more user-friendly organization, new features in this edition include: A significantly expanded section on dietary requirements for rats, reporting substantial new findings. A new section on nutrients that are not required but that may produce beneficial results. New information on growth and reproductive performance among the most commonly used strains of rats and mice and on several hamster species. An expanded discussion of diet formulation and preparation--including sample diets of both purified and natural ingredients. New information on mineral deficiency and toxicity, including warning signs. This authoritative resource will be important to researchers, laboratory technicians, and manufacturers of laboratory animal feed.
Since the beginning of space flight, the collision hazard in Earth orbit has increased as the number of artificial objects orbiting the Earth has grown. Spacecraft performing communications, navigation, scientific, and other missions now share Earth orbit with spent rocket bodies, nonfunctional spacecraft, fragments from spacecraft breakups, and other debris created as a byproduct of space operations. Orbital Debris examines the methods we can use to characterize orbital debris, estimates the magnitude of the debris population, and assesses the hazard that this population poses to spacecraft. Potential methods to protect spacecraft are explored. The report also takes a close look at the projected future growth in the debris population and evaluates approaches to reducing that growth. Orbital Debris offers clear recommendations for targeted research on the debris population, for methods to improve the protection of spacecraft, on methods to reduce the creation of debris in the future, and much more.
Growing public concern about releases of radiation into the environment has focused attention on the measurement of exposure of people living near nuclear weapons production facilities or in areas affected by accidental releases of radiation.Radiation-Dose Reconstruction for Epidemiologic Uses responds to the need for criteria for dose reconstruction studies, particularly if the doses are to be useful in epidemiology. This book provides specific and practical recommendations for whether, when, and how studies should be conducted, with an emphasis on public participation.Based on the expertise of scientists involved in dozens of dose reconstruction projects, this volume Provides an overview of the basic requirements and technical aspects of dose reconstruction.Presents lessons to be learned from dose reconstructions after Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and elsewhere.Explores the potential benefits and limitations of biological markers.Discusses how to establish the "source term"--that is, to determine what was released.Explores methods for identifying the environmental pathways by which radiation reaches the body.Offers details on three major categories of dose assessment.
The nation's physical infrastructure facilitates movement of people and goods; provides safe water; provides energy when and where needed; removes wastes; enables rapid communications; and generally supports our economy and quality of life. Developing a framework for guiding attempts at measuring the performance of infrastructure systems and grappling with the concept of defining good performance are the major themes of this book. Focusing on urban regions, within a context of national policy, the volume provides the basis for further in-depth analysis and application at the local, regional, state, and national levels.
Computational methods are rapidly becoming major tools of theoretical, pharmaceutical, materials, and biological chemists. Accordingly, the mathematical models and numerical analysis that underlie these methods have an increasingly important and direct role to play in the progress of many areas of chemistry. This book explores the research interface between computational chemistry and the mathematical sciences. In language that is aimed at non-specialists, it documents some prominent examples of past successful cross-fertilizations between the fields and explores the mathematical research opportunities in a broad cross-section of chemical research frontiers. It also discusses cultural differences between the two fields and makes recommendations for overcoming those differences and generally promoting this interdisciplinary work.
During the past decade, foreign participation in U.S. research and development--through acquisition of R&D-intensive businesses, links with universities, and other arrangements--has expanded rapidly.This emergence of foreign influence has drawn a mixed response--some regard the trend as a positive corollary to the expanding involvement of U.S.-owned companies in national markets abroad. Others consider it a net liability for Americans that often benefits foreign companies and their home economies at U.S. expense.There exists a large gap in expert and public understanding of the drivers, nature, and consequences of foreign participation in the nation's technology enterprise. This volume seeks to close this gap and reviews The nature of R&D activities and how they contribute to economic development. The causes, scope, and nature of foreign involvement in U.S.-based R&D activity and the associated costs, risks, benefits, and opportunities of this trend. The merits and liabilities of policies to regulate foreign R&D participation.
Advancement of telecommunications and information infrastructure occurs largely through private investment. The government affects the rate and direction of this progress through regulation and public investment. This book presents a range of positions and perspectives on those two classes of policy mechanism, providing a succinct analysis followed by papers prepared by experts in telecommunications policy and applications.
Keeping the U.S. Computer and Communications Industry Competitive: Convergence of Computing, Communications, and Entertainmentby Steering Committee on Keeping the U.S. Computer Communications Industry Competitive: Convergence of Computing Communications Entertainment
Interactive multimedia and information infrastructure receive a lot of attention in the press, but what do they really mean for society? What are the most significant and enduring innovations? What does the convergence of digitally based technologies mean for U.S. businesses and consumers? This book presents an overview of the exciting but much-hyped phenomenon of digital convergence.
During the last few decades of the 20th century, the development of an array of technologies has made it possible to observe the Earth, collect large quantities of data related to components and processes of the Earth system, and store, analyze, and retrieve these data at will. Over the past ten years, in particular, the observational, computational, and communications technologies have enabled the scientific community to undertake a broad range of interdisciplinary environmental research and assessment programs. Sound practice in database management are required to deal with the problems of complexity in such programs and a great deal of attention and resources has been devoted to this area in recent years. However, little guidance has been provided on overcoming the barriers frequently encountered in the interfacing of disparate data sets. This book attempts to remedy that problem by providing analytical and functional guidelines to help researchers and technicians to better plan and implement their supporting data management activities.
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