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Touch the Sun is a universally designed book with colorful raised images and combined text in print and Braille that explores the dynamic nature of our Sun.Topics include: size comparison between Earth and the Sun, the interior layers of the Sun, sunspots and their motion, views of the Sun in visible and ultraviolet light, solar eruptions as seen from space based observatories, massive solar storms, and the effect of space weather on Earth.According to the author, "This book is hot!"
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) manages dozens of sites across the nation that focus on research, design, and production of nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors for defense applications. Radioactive wastes at these sites pose a national challenge, and DOE is considering how to most effectively clean them up. Some of the greatest projected risks, cleanup costs, and technical challenges come from processing and disposing transuranic and high-level radioactive waste. This report addresses how DOE should incorporate risk into decisions about whether the nation should use alternatives to deep geologic disposal for some of these wastes. It recommends using an exemption process involving risk assessment for determining how to dispose of problematic wastes. The report outlines criteria for risk assessment and key elements of a risk-informed approach. The report also describes the types of wastes that are candidates for alternative disposition paths, potential alternatives to deep geologic disposal for disposition of low-hazard waste, and whether these alternatives are compatible with current regulations.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is gaining rapid acceptance as a means to track a wide array of manufactured objects. Currently, RFID technologies have shown promise in transportation (e.g., smart fare cards) and commerce (e.g., inventory control) for a variety of uses and are likely to find many new applications in both military and civilian areas if and when current technical issues are resolved. There are a number of policy concerns (e.g., privacy), however, that will become more crucial as the technology spreads. This report presents a summary of a workshop, held by the NRC at the request of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to explore many of the key technical and policy issues. Several important themes that are likely to govern expansion of RFID technology emerged from the workshop and are discussed.
The challenges for young people making the transition to adulthood are greater today than ever before. Globalization, with its power to reach across national boundaries and into the smallest communities, carries with it the transformative power of new markets and new technology. At the same time, globalization brings with it new ideas and lifestyles that can conflict with traditional norms and values. And while the economic benefits are potentially enormous, the actual course of globalization has not been without its critics who charge that, to date, the gains have been very unevenly distributed, generating a new set of problems associated with rising inequality and social polarization. Regardless of how the globalization debate is resolved, it is clear that as broad global forces transform the world in which the next generation will live and work, the choices that today's young people make or others make on their behalf will facilitate or constrain their success as adults. Traditional expectations regarding future employment prospects and life experiences are no longer valid. Growing Up Global examines how the transition to adulthood is changing in developing countries, and what the implications of these changes might be for those responsible for designing youth policies and programs, in particular, those affecting adolescent reproductive health. The report sets forth a framework that identifies criteria for successful transitions in the context of contemporary global changes for five key adult roles: adult worker, citizen and community participant, spouse, parent, and household manager.
A report on PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING NASA'S BIOASTRONAUTICS CRITICAL PATH ROAD MAP
A summary of Experimental Poverty Measures
A report on Measuring International Trade On U.s. Highways
A report on the Mathematical and Scientific Development in Early Childhood
Supercomputers play a significant and growing role in a variety of areas important to the nation. They are used to address challenging science and technology problems. In recent years, however, progress in supercomputing in the United States has slowed. The development of the Earth Simulator supercomputer by Japan that the United States could lose its competitive advantage and, more importantly, the national competence needed to achieve national goals. In the wake of this development, the Department of Energy asked the NRC to assess the state of U. S. supercomputing capabilities and relevant R&D. Subsequently, the Senate directed DOE in S. Rpt. 107-220 to ask the NRC to evaluate the Advanced Simulation and Computing program of the National Nuclear Security Administration at DOE in light of the development of the Earth Simulator. This report provides an assessment of the current status of supercomputing in the United States including a review of current demand and technology, infrastructure and institutions, and international activities.
Marine Mammal Populations And Ocean Noise : Determining When Noise Causes Biologically Significant Effectsby National Research Council of the National Academies
Attention has been drawn to the subject of how ocean noise affects marine mammals by a series of marine mammal strandings, lawsuits, and legislative hearings, and most recently, the report from the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. One way to assess the impact of ocean noise is to consider whether it causes changes in animal behavior that are "biologically significant," that is, those that affect an animal's ability to grow, survive, and reproduce. This report offers a conceptual model designed to clarify which marine mammal behaviors are biologically significant for conservation purposes. The report is intended to help scientists and policymakers interpret provisions of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The Department of Defense (DOD) supports basic research to advance fundamental knowledge in fields important to national defense. Over the past six years, however, several groups have raised concern about whether the nature of DOD-funded basic research is changing. The concerns include these: Funds are being spent for research that does not fall under DOD's definition of basic research; reporting requirements have become cumbersome and onerous; and basic research is handled differently by the three services. To explore these concerns, the Congress directed DOD to request a study from the National Research Council (NRC) about the nature of basic research now being funded by the Department. Specifically the NRC was to determine if the programs in the DOD basic research portfolio are consistent with the DOD definition of basic research and with the characteristics associated with fundamental research.
Building on the revolutionary Institute of Medicine reports "To Err is Human and "Crossing the Quality Chasm, Keeping Patients Safe lays out guidelines for improving patient safety by changing nurses' working, conditions and demands. Licensed nurses and unlicensed nursing assistants are indispensable participants in our national effort to protect patients from health care errors. The nature of the activities nurses typically perform--monitoring patients, educating home caretakers, performing treatments, and rescuing patients who are in crisis--provides an indispensable resource in detecting and remedying error-producing defects in the U. S. health care system. Over the last two decades, substantial changes have been made in the organization and delivery of health care--and consequently in the job description and work environment of nurses. As patients are increasingly cared for as outpatients, nurses in hospitals and nursing homes deal with greater severity of illness. Problems in management practices, employee deployment, work and workspace design, and the basic safety culture of health care organizations place patients at further risk. This newest edition in the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine series discusses these key aspects of the work environment for nurses and reviews the potential improvements in working conditions that are likely to have an impact on patient safety.
The National Academies Press (NAP)--publisher for the National Academies--publishes more than 200 books a year offering the most authoritative views, definitive information, and groundbreaking recommendations on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and health. Our books are unique in that they are authored by the nation's leading experts in every scientific field.
Certification of critical software systems (e.g., for safety and security) is important to help ensure their dependability. Today, certification relies as much on evaluation of the software development process as it does on the system’s properties. While the latter are preferable, the complexity of these systems usually makes them extremely difficult to evaluate. To explore these and related issues, the National Coordination Office for Information technology Research and Development asked the NRC to undertake a study to assess the current state of certification in dependable systems. The study is in two phases: the first to frame the problem and the second to assess it. This report presents a summary of a workshop held as part of the first phase. The report presents a summary of workshop participants’ presentations and subsequent discussion. It covers, among other things, the strengths and limitations of process; new challenges and opportunities; experience to date; organization context; and cost-effectiveness of software engineering techniques. A consensus report will be issued upon completion of the second phase.
The national income and product accounts that underlie gross domestic product (GDP), together with other key economic data-price and employment statistics- are widely used as indicators of how well the nation is doing. GDP, however, is focused on the production of goods and services sold in markets and reveals relatively little about important production in the home and other areas outside of markets. A set of satellite accounts-in areas such as health, education, volunteer and home production, and environmental improvement or pollution-would contribute to a better understanding of major issues related to economic growth and societal well-being. Beyond the Market: Designing Nonmarket Accountsfor the United States hopes to encourage social scientists to make further efforts and contributions in the analysis of nonmarket activities and in corresponding data collection and accounting systems. The book illustrates new data sources and new ideas that have improved the prospects for progress.
This volume is a report of a workshop held in 2003 to address best practices and remaining challenges with respect to national laboratory-university collaborations.
Once dismissed by the medical profession as a purely cosmetic problem, obesity now ranks second only to smoking as a wholly preventable cause of death. Indeed, it's implicated in 300,000 deaths each year and is a major contributor to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression. Even conservative estimates show that 15% of all children are now considered to be overweight--worldwide there are 22 million kids under five years old that are defined as fat. Supersized portions, unhealthy diets, and too little physical activity certainly contribute to what's making kids 'fat.' But that's not the whole story. Researchers are at a loss to explain why obesity rates have risen so suddenly and so steeply in the closing decades of the 20th century. But head out to the beaches, playgrounds, and amusement parks, and it's obvious that overweight children are more numerous and conspicuous. We see it in our neighborhoods and we read it in the headlines. Our nation--indeed the world--is in crisis. But knowledge is power and it's time to arm ourselves in the battle to win the war on obesity. Fed Up! is just what the doctor ordered. Based in part on the Institute of Medicine's ground-breaking report on childhood obesity, this new book from family physician and journalist Susan Okie provides in-depth background on the issue; shares heartrending but instructive case studies that illustrate just how serious and widespread the problem is; and gives honest, authoritative, science-based advice that constitute our best weapons in this critical battle.
The U.S. military is considering using a compound called iodotrifluoromethane (CF3I) for fire suppression to replace previously-used compounds (halons) that are being phased out because they deplete the ozone layer. This report reviews available toxicological data on CF3I and evaluates the scientific basis of the U.S. Army's proposed exposure limit of 2,000 parts per million (ppm). The report recommends that CF3I be used for fire suppression in normally unoccupied spaces because of its potential to cause cardiac sensitization in test animals. The report also recommends that further genotoxicity testing be conducted (testing for changes in genetic material), and that CF3I be assessed for its potential to cause cancer. Should the Army decide to use CF3I, information should be collected and evaluated on how much of the chemical or any of its degradation products might be released and how often.
This report explores whether there are core pedagogical and skill-based homeland security program needs; examines current and proposed education programs focusing on various aspects of homeland security; comments on the possible parallels between homeland security, area studies, international relations, and science policy, as developed or emerging academic thrusts; and suggests potential curricula needs, particularly those that involve interdisciplinary aspects. The report concentrates almost exclusively on coursework-related offerings, primarily at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The Gulf War in 1990-1991 was considered a brief and successful military operation, with few injuries or deaths of US troops. The war began in August 1990, and the last US ground troops returned home by June 1991. Although most Gulf War veterans resumed their normal activities, many soon began reporting a variety of nonexplained health problems that they attributed to their participation in the Gulf War, including chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, loss of concentration, forgetfulness, headache, and rash. Because of concerns about the veterans' health problems, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) review the scientific and medical literature on the long-term adverse health effects of agents to which the Gulf War veterans may have been exposed. This report is a broad overview of the toxicology of sarin and cyclosarin. It assesses the biologic plausibility with respect to the compounds in question and health effects.
Recent results in biomaterials R&D suggest that there are exceptional opportunities for these emerging materials in military medicine. To facilitate this possibility, the National Research Council convened a workshop at the request of the Department of Defense to help create a technology development roadmap to enhance military R&D into biomaterials technology. The workshop focused primarily on identifying useful near- and mid-term applications of biomaterials including wound care, tissue engineering, drug delivery, and physiological sensors and diagnostics. This report presents a summary of the workshop. It provides a review of biomaterials and their importance to military medicine, the roadmap, and a discussion of ways to enable biomaterials development. Several important outcomes of successful capture of potential benefits of these materials are also discussed.
The National Academies' Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability hosted a workshop "Knowledge-Action Systems for Seasonal to Interannual Climate Forecasting" in 2004 to discover and distill general lessons about the design of effective systems for linking knowledge with action from the last decade's experience with the production and application of seasonal to interannual climate forecasts. Workshop participants described lessons they had learned based on their experiences developing, applying, and using decision support systems in the United States, Columbia, Brazil, and Australia. Some of the key lessons discussed, as characterized by David Cash and James Buizer, were that effective knowledge-action systems: define and frame the problem to be addressed via collaboration between knowledge users and knowledge producers; tend to be end-to-end systems that link user needs to basic scientific findings and observations; are often anchored in "boundary organizations" that act as intermediaries between nodes in the system - most notably between scientists and decision makers; feature flexible processes and institutions to be responsive to what is learned; use funding strategies tailored to the dual public/private character of such systems; and require people who can work across disciplines, issue areas, and the knowledge–action interface.
Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (FCMA), managers are required to use the “best scientific information available” in the preparation of federal fishery management plans (National Standard 2 in the FCMA). However, the Act provides no further guidance as to how conformance to this standard should be determined. Because adherence to this standard has often been contentious, Congress has considered adding a definition for what constitutes “best scientific information available” in the reauthorization of the FCMA. This report examines both the current application and the controversy over the standard and concludes that a legislative definition would be too inflexible to accommodate regional differences and future advances in science and technology. Instead, the report recommends that NOAA Fisheries adopt procedural guidelines to ensure that the scientific information used in the development of fishery management plans is relevant and timely and is the product of processes characterized by inclusiveness, transparency and openness, timeliness, and peer review.
Keeping Score for All: The Effects of Inclusion and Accommodation Policies on Large-Scale Educational Assessmentsby Committee on Participation of English Language Learners Students Disabilities In Naep Other Large-Scale Assessments
U.S. public schools are responsible for educating large numbers of English language learners and students with disabilities. This book considers policies for including students with disabilities and English language learners in assessment programs. It also examines the research findings on testing accommodations and their effect on test performance. Keeping Score for All discusses the comparability of states’ policies with each other and with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) policies and explores the impact of these differences on the interpretations of NAEP results. The book presents a critical review of the research literature and makes suggestions for future research to evaluate the validity of test scores obtained under accommodated conditions. The book concludes by proposing a new framework for conceptualizing accommodations. This framework would be useful both for policymakers, test designers, and practitioners in determining appropriate accommodations for specific assessments and for researchers in planning validity studies.
The report reviews NASA's solid-earth science strategy, placing particular emphasis on observational strategies for measuring surface deformation, high-resolution topography, surface properties, and the variability of the earth's magnetic and gravity fields. The report found that NASA is uniquely positioned to implement these observational strategies and that a number of agency programs would benefit from the resulting data. In particular, the report strongly endorses the near-term launch of a satellite dedicated to L-band InSAR measurements of the land surface, which is a key component of the U. S. Geological Survey's hazards mitigation program and the multi-agency EarthScope program.
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