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The United States is in the midst of a major demographic shift. In the coming decades, people aged 65 and over will make up an increasingly large percentage of the population: The ratio of people aged 65+ to people aged 20-64 will rise by 80%. This shift is happening for two reasons: people are living longer, and many couples are choosing to have fewer children and to have those children somewhat later in life. The resulting demographic shift will present the nation with economic challenges, both to absorb the costs and to leverage the benefits of an aging population. Aging and the Macroeconomy: Long-Term Implications of an Older Population presents the fundamental factors driving the aging of the U.S. population, as well as its societal implications and likely long-term macroeconomic effects in a global context. The report finds that, while population aging does not pose an insurmountable challenge to the nation, it is imperative that sensible policies are implemented soon to allow companies and households to respond. It offers four practical approaches for preparing resources to support the future consumption of households and for adapting to the new economic landscape.
The first two decades of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program have provided a successful and useful assessment of U.S. water-quality conditions, how they have changed over time, and how natural features and human activities have affected those conditions. Now, planning is underway for the third decade (Cycle 3) of the Program outlined in the Science Plan, with challenges including ensuring that the NAWQA remain a national program in the face of declining resources, balancing new activities against long-term studies, and maintaining focus amidst numerous and competing stakeholder demands. The Science Plan for Cycle 3 articulates a forward-thinking vision for NAWQA science over the next decade, building on the previous cycles' data, experience, and products. Preparing for the Third Decade (Cycle 3) of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program explains the national needs outlined in the plan, NAWQA's need to emphasize collaboration with other USGS and external programs, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector.
For those in the broad engineering community--those who employ, work with, and/or educate engineers, and engineers themselves--there is no need to explain the importance and value of engineering. They understand that engineers help make the world a better place for all, that they regularly grapple with important societal and environmental issues, and that the engineering process is every bit as creative as composing a symphony or crafting a piece of art. But the situation outside the engineering community is quite different. Studies have shown that most K-12 students and teachers have a limited appreciation of all the ways that engineering makes their lives better and, furthermore, that they have little understanding of what engineers do or of the opportunities that an engineering education offers. Messaging for Engineering supports efforts by the engineering community to communicate more effectively about the profession and those who practice it. This report builds on the 2008 NAE publication, Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering (CTC), which presented the results of a research-based effort to develop and test new, more effective messages about engineering. The new messages cast engineering as inherently creative and concerned with human welfare, as well as an emotionally satisfying calling. This report summarizes progress in implementing the CTC messages, but also recognizes that there is potential to galvanize additional action and thus suggests specific steps for major players in the engineering community to continue and build on progress to date. Many of the report's recommendations resulted from discussion at a December 2010 committee workshop that involved several dozen high-level decision makers representing key stakeholder groups in the engineering community.
The central goal of the In the Light of Evolution (ILE) series is to promote the evolutionary sciences through state-of-the-art colloquia--in the series of Arthur M. Sackler colloquia sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences--and their published proceedings. Each installment explores evolutionary perspectives on a particular biological topic that is scientifically intriguing but also has special relevance to contemporary societal issues or challenges. This book is the outgrowth of the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium "Brain and Behavior," which was sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences on January 20-21, 2012, at the Academy's Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, CA. It is the sixth in a series of Colloquia under the general title "In the Light of Evolution." Specifically, In Light of Evolution: Brain and Behavior focuses on the field of evolutionary neuroscience that now includes a vast array of different approaches, data types, and species. This volume is also available for purchase with the In the Light of Evolution six-volume set.
Scientific Review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permitby Committee on the Evaluation of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit DEIS Peer Review
In May 2012, the National Park Service (NPS) asked the National Research Council to conduct a scientific review of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to evaluate the effects of issuing a Special Use Permit for the commercial shellfish operation in Drakes Estero for a ten year time span. Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) currently operates the shellfish farm in Drakes Estero, part of Point Reyes National Seashore, under a reservation of use and occupancy that will expire on November 30, 2012 if a new Special Use Permit is not issued. Congress granted the Secretary of the Interior the discretionary authority to issue a new ten year Special Use Permit in 2009; hence, the Secretary now has the option to proceed with or delay the conversion of Drakes Estero to wilderness. To inform this decision, the NPS drafted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the DBOC Special Use Permit. Under the National Environmental policy Act (NEPA), as EIS is prepared to inform the public and agency decision-makers regarding the potential environmental impacts of a proposed federal action and reasonable alternatives. The Department of the Interior commissioned a peer review of the DEIS that was released in March 2012. Scientific Review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit reviews the scientific information presented in the DEIS that is used to determine the potential environmental impacts of a ten year extension of DBOC operations. In particular, this report responds to the following tasks given to the committee: assess the scientific information, analysis, and conclusions presented in the DEIS for Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit, and evaluate whether the peer review of the DEIS is fundamentally sound and materially sufficient. Scientific Review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit focuses on eight of twelve resource categories considered in the DEIS: wetlands, eelgrass, wildlife and wildlife habitat, special-status species, coastal flood zones, soundscapes, water quality, and socioeconomic resources.
Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy encourages scientists to think differently about the use of scientific evidence in policy making. This report investigates why scientific evidence is important to policy making and argues that an extensive body of research on knowledge utilization has not led to any widely accepted explanation of what it means to use science in public policy. Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy identifies the gaps in our understanding and develops a framework for a new field of research to fill those gaps. For social scientists in a number of specialized fields, whether established scholars or Ph.D. students, Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy shows how to bring their expertise to bear on the study of using science to inform public policy. More generally, this report will be of special interest to scientists who want to see their research used in policy making, offering guidance on what is required beyond producing quality research, beyond translating results into more understandable terms, and beyond brokering the results through intermediaries, such as think tanks, lobbyists, and advocacy groups. For administrators and faculty in public policy programs and schools, Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy identifies critical elements of instruction that will better equip graduates to promote the use of science in policy making.
Letting Go Of The Past With a popular comic strip, card line, and children's cartoon to her name, Lucy Brighton should be in a happy place. But the ache of a cold, lonely childhood lingers on. Even though she still lives in the New Jersey house where she grew up, Lucy has had little contact with her parents since they moved to Florida five years ago. Finding Joy In The Present Then Lucy receives a call that her parents have been killed in a car crash. While settling their affairs in Florida, Lucy begins to realize how little she really knew about their lives. She has no way to explain the mysterious safe in their bedroom, with its cache of fake passports, cash, and weapons. What secrets were the Brightons keeping? Were they even who they claimed to be? The answers will shatter everything she once believed about her parents--and about herself. Praise for Fern Michaels and her novels Tirelessly inventive and entertaining. -- Booklist on Up Close and Personal Fast-moving. . . entertaining. . . a roller-coaster ride of serendipitous fun. -- Publishers Weekly on Mr. and Miss Anonymous Heartbreaking, suspenseful, and tender. -- Booklist on Return to Sender A knockout story. -- Publishers Weekly on Dear Emily
In Willow Ridge, Missouri, the Christmas season is a time when faith brings peace, family brings warmth and new romance brings sparkling joy. . . Twins For ChristmasFor spirited Martha Coblentz and her twin Mary, the snow has delivered the perfect holiday and birthday present to their door--handsome brothers Nate and Bram Kanagy. But when unforeseen trouble interrupts their season's good cheer, it will take unexpected intervention--and sudden understanding--to give all four the blessing of a lifetime. . . Kissing The BishopAs the year's first snow settles, Nazareth Hooley and her sister are given a heaven-sent chance to help newly widowed Tom Hostetler tend his home. But when her hope that she and Tom can build on the caring between them seems a dream forever out of reach, Nazareth discovers that faith and love can make any miracle possible. . . "A heartwarming new voice for fans of Beverly Lewis. " --Emma MillerDelicious holiday treat recipes included Praise for The Seasons of the Heart series"Another great book centered around the Sweet Seasons Cafe. " --"RT Book Reviews," 4 StarsPraise for Naomi King"A heartwarming story, beautifully told. "--JoAnn Grote, author of "Image of Love"
They are the Renegade Royals, illegitimate sons of the Royal Princes, each finding his rightful place in society--and the woman destined to be his perfect match. . . Some men are born into scandal. Others pursue it with a passion. Griffin Steele, secret son of the Duke of Cumberland, is guilty on both counts. Yet somehow London's most notorious scoundrel has been saddled with an abandoned baby boy--and with the unflappable, intriguing spinster summoned to nurse him. . . Justine Brightmore may be a viscount's niece, but she's also a spy's daughter, determined to safeguard the infant when his suspected royal parentage makes him a target. Yet how to protect herself from the rakish Griffin? Marriage might shield her reputation, but it can only imperil her heart, especially with a groom intent on delicious seduction. . . "Has all the elements of my favorite novels--a bad boy hero, a spirited heroine, a dash of intrigue, and a sizzling romance. Put her on your auto-buy list;you won't be disappointed. "--Shana Galen
In a hilarious and heartwarming novel from USA Today bestselling author Lisa Plumley, a down-home diner owner meets a sexy Scrooge--but will it be a match made in holiday heaven?Casey Jackson doesn't do Christmas. Mistletoe, eggnog, pitchy carolers--it all leaves the L. A. based talent agent colder than a winter sleigh ride. Nonetheless, Casey's been called to Kismet, Michigan, to help get a pop star's holiday special back on track. But it's the diva's sister who's proving the biggest obstacle. Kristen Miller is funny, sassy--and crazy about Christmas. And suddenly, Casey has all kinds of visions dancing in his head. . . Kristen can't believe that Casey is anti-Christmas. To her, the season is as magical as the thrill she feels whenever they touch. Because even though Kristen set out to teach the charismatic hotshot a thing or two, she's learning some lessons of her own. About letting herself stand in the spotlight for once, about holiday flings that can turn into much more--and about how all you really need for the perfect Christmas is the right person to share it with. . . "Lisa Plumley creates charming characters. Her books are a delight!" --Rachel GibsonRaves for Lisa Plumley's Holiday Affair"A deliciously satisfying, cocoa-worthy holiday read. " --Library Journal"A delightful story with utterly charming characters. " -Romantic Times Book Reviews
THE SWEETEST GIFTS. . . Sam Bennett left a snowbound Colorado ranch for the glittering steel canyons of Manhattan--temporarily. Hard work was never this much fun as he sets up Christmas trees all around town. And now that he's met Nicole Young, a gorgeous window designer, four weeks won't be enough to romance her the way he wants to. . . ARE THE ONES YOU DON'T EXPECTBut with Christmas around the corner, every day together feels like a blessing. And as the spirit of the season takes hold, playing Santa and helping out a small boy with a big holiday wish is a joy Sam and Nicole can't resist. Neither of them imagines that they'll be rewarded--with the kind of love that lasts forever. . . "Janet Dailey. . . writes tales that warm your heart. "--The Romance Reader
In the Texas Panhandle, the winters are long, the storms fierce--and the Yuletide nights are sizzling. New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas along with Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda and DeWanna Pace, bring you one tempting holiday delight. . . On the eve before Christmas a blizzard arrived, transforming a small Texas town into a night to remember. Four ladies desperately in need of saving, four hard-ridin' cowboys who aim to please. . . When a lone farmer strides to a pretty store owner's rescue, their deepest wishes just might come true. . . A brave heiress can't believe a rugged angel is riding out of the night to save her and her fellow train passengers--until she gets him under the mistletoe. . . A quiet loner wants to help a stranded widow have a holiday to remember. . . And a female saloon owner tired of being scorned by respectable folk gets some very naughty help from a handsome greenhorn. . . "Readers couldn't ask for a finer quartet of heroes. . . " --Romantic Times on Give Me a Texas Ranger"Will warm your heart and bring a smile to your lips. " --Love Western Romances on Give me a Cowboy
On The Frontier There Was One Rule:Learn To Kill, Or Prepare To Die. . . Christopher Guthrie was bred by money, educated by Harvard, saved from the Civil War by an oak desk in Washington D. C. Towering, fierce Wolf Riker was honed by a kind of suffering Guthrie could never imagine. Fate throws these two men together when a stagecoach from Baton Rouge is set upon by killers. The price for Guthrie's survival is joining Riker's trail drive to Kansas, a mad, brawling charge of longhorns and backstabbers. Guthrie is soon bound by Riker's rules, surrounded by his kill-crazy crew, surviving one danger after another and protecting a beautiful young woman as he goes. And it will be here, amidst floods and battles, cut off from his past and civilization, that Christopher Guthrie will emerge a different man. . . for better or worse. As for Wolf Riker, he is running from demons from which only God Himself can save him. . . Crackling with the fury of a desert storm. -- True West on The Rebel: Johnny Yuma
"One of the hottest new authors in the thriller genre. . . Awesome. " --Brad ThorFear Is ContagiousIn a small town in Utah, people are contracting a horrific disease with alarming plague-like symptoms. The CDC quarantines the area but outbreaks are already being reported in China, Japan, and England. Evidence suggests this is not a new strain of superbug--but an act of war, an orchestrated deployment of unstoppable terror. . . Special agent Jericho Quinn, hellbent on finding the sniper who attacked his family, steps into an even bigger, and deadlier, conspiracy: a secret cabal of elite assassins embedded throughout the globe. Infecting the very fabric of the free world. Exterminating targets with cold, silent precision. For Quinn, it's as insidious as the virus that claims new victims each day--and he plans to wipe it off the face of the earth. . . Praise for the novels of Marc Cameron"Action-packed, over-the-top. "--Publishers Weekly on Act of Terror "Fascinating characters with action off-the-charts. Masterful. "--Steve Berry on National Security
"A sharp, hilarious romp through a spot-on believable women's magazine. " --Sally Koslow, former Editor-in-Chief of McCall's"An essential novel. . . engaging, sensitive, and so much fun. . . I wanted to hang out with the women of HersMagazine long after I'd turned the last page. " -Diana Spechler, author of SkinnyFor years, Hers magazine has been a fixture on newsstands--relatable, reliable, and ever-so-slightly frumpy. But with sales slumping, Hers' editor-in-chief soon finds a pink slip in her inbox. And her ruthless, blisteringly high-heeled replacement may not be finished cleaning house yet. . . Leah Brenner suspects she won't be on the payroll much longer either. A telecommuting, breast milk-pumping mom of three doesn't mesh with her new boss Mimi's vision of a sleeker, younger-skewing Hers. Not content with nabbing Leah's office, Mimi's protégée, Victoria, is itching to take over Leah's duties too--and she's not alone. As the summer rolls out, and staffers are asked to give up even their sexiest secrets to save the brand, everyone at Hers--the sycophantic new assistant;the photo editor who's sleeping with her boss;the Ivy League intern with oversized aspirations--will fight to keep her career, and some shred of dignity, intact. Smart, perceptive, and hilarious, Lindsey Palmer's debut delivers an all too true-to-life tale of very different women faced with high-stakes choices in a rapidly changing--yet utterly familiar--world. . . "Tantalizing. . . Pretty in Inkis part comic love story and part bloody valentine. " ?Devan Sipher, New York Times"Vows" columnist and author of The Wedding Beat
In February 2009, the commercial communications satellite Iridium 33 collided with the Russian military communications satellite Cosmos 2251. The collision, which was not the first recorded between two satellites in orbit--but the most recent and alarming--produced thousands of pieces of debris, only a small percentage of which could be tracked by sensors located around the world. In early 2007, China tested a kinetic anti-satellite weapon against one of its own satellites, which also generated substantial amounts of space debris. These collisions highlighted the importance of maintaining accurate knowledge, and the associated uncertainty, of the orbit of each object in space. These data are needed to predict close approaches of space objects and to compute the probability of collision so that owners/operators can decide whether or not to make a collision avoidance maneuver by a spacecraft with such capability. The space object catalog currently contains more than 20,000 objects, and when the planned space fence radar becomes operational this number is expected to exceed 100,000. A key task is to determine if objects might come closer to each other, an event known as "conjunction," and the probability that they might collide. The U.S. Air Force is the primary U.S. government organization tasked with maintaining the space object catalog and data on all space objects. This is a complicated task, involving collecting data from a multitude of different sensors-many of which were not specifically designed to track orbiting objects-and fusing the tracking data along with other data, such as data from atmospheric models, to provide predictions of where objects will be in the future. The Committee for the Assessment of the U.S. Air Force's Astrodynamic Standards collected data and heard from numerous people involved in developing and maintaining the current astrodynamics standards for the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), as well as representatives of the user community, such as NASA and commercial satellite owners and operators. Preventing collisions of space objects, regardless of their ownership, is in the national security interested of the United States. Continuing Kepler's Quest makes recommendations to the AFSPC in order for it to create and expand research programs, design and develop hardware and software, as well as determine which organizations to work with to achieve its goals.
Outbreaks of animal disease can have catastrophic repercussions for animal agriculture, the food supply, and public health. Rapid detection, diagnosis and response, as well as development of new vaccines, are central to mitigating the impact of disease outbreaks. The proposed National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) is a next-generation laboratory for animal disease diagnostics, training, and research that would provide core critical components for defense against foreign animal and zoonotic disease threats. But it will be a major investment with estimated construction costs of $1.14 billion, as currently designed. Meeting Critical Laboratory Needs for Animal Agriculture: Examination of Three Optionsdiscusses the laboratory infrastructure needed to effectively address the threat posed by animal and zoonotic diseases and analyzes three options for creating this infrastructure: building NBAF as currently designed, building a scaled-back version of the NBAF, or maintaining current research capabilities at Plum Island Animal Disease Center while leveraging biosafety level-4 large animal capabilities at foreign laboratories.
Scientific evidence shows that most glaciers in South Asia's Hindu Kush Himalayan region are retreating, but the consequences for the region's water supply are unclear, this report finds. The Hindu Kush Himalayan region is the location of several of Asia's great river systems, which provide water for drinking, irrigation, and other uses for about 1.5 billion people. Recent studies show that at lower elevations, glacial retreat is unlikely to cause significant changes in water availability over the next several decades, but other factors, including groundwater depletion and increasing human water use, could have a greater impact. Higher elevation areas could experience altered water flow in some river basins if current rates of glacial retreat continue, but shifts in the location, intensity, and variability of rain and snow due to climate change will likely have a greater impact on regional water supplies. Himalayan Glaciers: Climate Change, Water Resources, and Water Security makes recommendations and sets guidelines for the future of climate change and water security in the Himalayan Region. This report emphasizes that social changes, such as changing patterns of water use and water management decisions, are likely to have at least as much of an impact on water demand as environmental factors do on water supply. Water scarcity will likely affect the rural and urban poor most severely, as these groups have the least capacity to move to new locations as needed. It is predicted that the region will become increasingly urbanized as cities expand to absorb migrants in search of economic opportunities. As living standards and populations rise, water use will likely increase-for example, as more people have diets rich in meat, more water will be needed for agricultural use. The effects of future climate change could further exacerbate water stress. Himalayan Glaciers: Climate Change, Water Resources, and Water Security explains that changes in the availability of water resources could play an increasing role in political tensions, especially if existing water management institutions do not better account for the social, economic, and ecological complexities of the region. To effectively respond to the effects of climate change, water management systems will need to take into account the social, economic, and ecological complexities of the region. This means it will be important to expand research and monitoring programs to gather more detailed, consistent, and accurate data on demographics, water supply, demand, and scarcity.
Health systems and assets are a large part of the critical infrastructure of any community and are vital not only for the safety and well-being of its citizens, but also for the economic vitality, quality of life, and livelihood of the entire community. As part of its ongoing mission to foster dialogue among stakeholders and to confront the challenges inherent in ensuring the nation's health security, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events sponsored a town hall session at the 2012 Public Health Preparedness Summit. This event took place February 21-24 in Anaheim, California. In this session sponsored by the IOM, the focus of discussion was sustaining health care delivery beyond the initial response to a disaster and facilitating the full long-term recovery of the local health care delivery systems. Many elements required for recovery are also fundamental to the day-to-day operations of these systems. Investing in improved health care delivery systems, both financially and through collaborative capacity building, can enhance economic development and growth before a disaster, and also prove instrumental in sustaining services and recovering after a disaster. Post-Incident Recovery Considerations of the Health Care Service Delivery Infrastructure serves as a summary of the session and explains the value of regional capacity building; the importance of interagency, intergovernmental, and public-private collaboration; and the significant role that health care coalitions can play in ensuring resilient communities and national health security.
At the request of NASA, an IOM committee reviewed NASA Human Research Program's (HRP's) Scientific Merit Assessment Processes for directed research. Directed research is commissioned or noncompetitively awarded research that is not competitively solicited because of specific reasons, such as time limitations or highly focused or constrained research topics. The scientific merit assessment processes have been developed by NASA to evaluate individual directed research tasks in order to ensure the scientific integrity of the HRP's directed research portfolio. The committee examined the HRP's current scientific merit assessment processes and conducted a public workshop to identify best practices among other federal agencies that use various assessment processes for similar types of directed research. Review of NASA Human Research Program's Scientific Merit Processes: Letter Report finds that the scientific merit assessment process used by the HRP for directed research is scientifically rigorous and is similar to the processes and merit criteria used by many other federal agencies and organizations - including the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and the United States Department of Agriculture - for comparable types of research. This report also makes recommendations on ways to streamline and bolster the accountability and transparency of NASA's current processes.
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) is under construction near Richmond, Kentucky, two dispose of one of the two remaining stockpiles of chemical munitions in the United States. The stockpile that BGCAPP will dispose of is stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD). BGCAPP is a tenant activity on BGAD. The stockpile stored at BGAD consists of mustard agent loaded in projectiles, and the nerve agents GB and VX loaded into projectiles and M55 rockets. BGCAPP will process the rockets by cutting them, still in their shipping and firing tube (SFT), between the warhead and motor sections of the rocket. The warhead will be processed through BGCAPP. The separated rocket motors that have been monitored for chemical agent and cleared for transportation outside of BGCAPP, the subject of this report, will be disposed of outside of BGCAPP. Any motors found to be contaminated with chemical agent will be processed through BGCAPP and are not addressed in this report. Disposal Options for the Rocket Motors From Nerve Agent Rockets Stored at Blue Grass Army Depot addresses safety in handling the separated rocket motors with special attention to the electrical ignition system, the need for adequate storage space for the motors in order to maintain the planned disposal rate at BGCAPP, thermal and chemical disposal technologies, and on-site and off-site disposal options. On-site is defined as disposal on BGAD, and off-site is defined as disposal by a commercial or government facility outside of BGAD.
The principal goals of the study were to articulate the scientific rationale and objectives of the field and then to take a long-term strategic view of U. S. nuclear science in the global context for setting future directions for the field. Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter provides a long-term assessment of an outlook for nuclear physics. The first phase of the report articulates the scientific rationale and objectives of the field, while the second phase provides a global context for the field and its long-term priorities and proposes a framework for progress through 2020 and beyond. In the second phase of the study, also developing a framework for progress through 2020 and beyond, the committee carefully considered the balance between universities and government facilities in terms of research and workforce development and the role of international collaborations in leveraging future investments. Nuclear physics today is a diverse field, encompassing research that spans dimensions from a tiny fraction of the volume of the individual particles (neutrons and protons) in the atomic nucleus to the enormous scales of astrophysical objects in the cosmos. Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter explains the research objectives, which include the desire not only to better understand the nature of matter interacting at the nuclear level, but also to describe the state of the universe that existed at the big bang. This report explains how the universe can now be studied in the most advanced colliding-beam accelerators, where strong forces are the dominant interactions, as well as the nature of neutrinos.
Biofuels made from algae are gaining attention as a domestic source of renewable fuel. However, with current technologies, scaling up production of algal biofuels to meet even 5 percent of U.S. transportation fuel needs could create unsustainable demands for energy, water, and nutrient resources. Continued research and development could yield innovations to address these challenges, but determining if algal biofuel is a viable fuel alternative will involve comparing the environmental, economic and social impacts of algal biofuel production and use to those associated with petroleum-based fuels and other fuel sources. Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels was produced at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy.
The number of new drug approvals has remained reasonably steady for the past 50 years at around 20 to 30 per year, while at the same time the total spending on health-related research and development has tripled since 1990. There are many suspected causes for this trend, including increases in regulatory barriers, the rising costs of scientific inquiry, a decrease in research and development efficiency, the downstream effects of patient expirations on investment, and the lack of production models that have successfully incorporated new technology. Regardless, this trajectory is not economically sustainable for the businesses involved, and, in response, many companies are turning toward collaborative models of drug development, whether with other industrial firms, academia, or government. Introducing greater efficiency and knowledge into these new models and aligning incentives among participants may help to reverse the trends highlighted above, while producing more effective drugs in the process. Genome-Based Therapeutics explains that new technologies have the potential to open up avenues of development and to identify new drug targets to pursue. Specifically, improved validation of gene-disease associations through genomics research has the potential to revolutionize drug production and lower development costs. Genetic information has helped developers by increasing their understanding of the mechanisms of disease as well as individual patients' reactions to their medications. There is a need to identify the success factors for the various models that are being developed, whether they are industry-led, academia-led, or collaborations between the two. Genome-Based Therapeutics summarizes a workshop that was held on March 21, 2012, titled New Paradigms in Drug Discovery: How Genomic Data Are Being Used to Revolutionize the Drug Discovery and Development Process. At this workshop the goal was to examine the general approaches being used to apply successes achieved so far, and the challenges ahead.
As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms, the need for detailed projections is growing across all sectors, including agriculture, insurance, and emergency preparedness planning. A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling emphasizes the needs for climate models to evolve substantially in order to deliver climate projections at the scale and level of detail desired by decision makers, this report finds. Despite much recent progress in developing reliable climate models, there are still efficiencies to be gained across the large and diverse U.S. climate modeling community. Evolving to a more unified climate modeling enterprise-in particular by developing a common software infrastructure shared by all climate researchers and holding an annual climate modeling forum-could help speed progress. Throughout this report, several recommendations and guidelines are outlined to accelerate progress in climate modeling. The U.S. supports several climate models, each conceptually similar but with components assembled with slightly different software and data output standards. If all U.S. climate models employed a single software system, it could simplify testing and migration to new computing hardware, and allow scientists to compare and interchange climate model components, such as land surface or ocean models. A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling recommends an annual U.S. climate modeling forum be held to help bring the nation's diverse modeling communities together with the users of climate data. This would provide climate model data users with an opportunity to learn more about the strengths and limitations of models and provide input to modelers on their needs and provide a venue for discussions of priorities for the national modeling enterprise, and bring disparate climate science communities together to design common modeling experiments. In addition, A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling explains that U.S. climate modelers will need to address an expanding breadth of scientific problems while striving to make predictions and projections more accurate. Progress toward this goal can be made through a combination of increasing model resolution, advances in observations, improved model physics, and more complete representations of the Earth system. To address the computing needs of the climate modeling community, the report suggests a two-pronged approach that involves the continued use and upgrading of existing climate-dedicated computing resources at modeling centers, together with research on how to effectively exploit the more complex computer hardware systems expected over the next 10 to 20 years.
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