Category Archives: New Publications

New books this week: Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution and more

Featured Publication

Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution (prepublication)

The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in brain size; and the emergence of Homo sapiens, tools, and culture. The geological record suggests that some of these evolutionary events were coincident with substantial changes in African and Eurasian climate, raising the intriguing possibility that key junctures in human evolution and behavioral development may have been affected or controlled by the environmental characteristics of the areas where hominins evolved. However, with both a sparse hominin fossil record and an incomplete understanding of past climates, the particular effect of the environment on hominin evolution remains speculative. This presents an opportunity for exciting and fundamental scientific research to improve our understanding of how climate may have helped to shape our species, and thereby to shed light on the evolutionary forces that made us distinctively human.

All New Publications This Week

Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries (prepublication)

Evaluation of the Health and Safety Risks of the New USAMRIID High Containment Facilities at Fort Detrick, Maryland (prepublication)

NOAA’s Education Program: Review and Critique (prepublication)

Seventeenth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (final)

Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments (final)

Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments (final)

New This Week: Physical & Life Sciences, NASA, and Hypertension

The end of another week brings us the roundup of all of the new publications that hit our site. If you like any of these pubs, you can use the share buttons to share the article on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site that you can think of, as well as email it to a friend.

Featured Publication

Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences (final)

Traditionally, the natural sciences have been divided into two branches: the biological sciences and the physical sciences. Today, an increasing number of scientists are addressing problems lying at the intersection of the two. These problems are most often biological in nature, but examining them through the lens of the physical sciences can yield exciting results and opportunities. For example, one area producing effective cross-discipline research opportunities centers on the dynamics of systems. Equilibrium, multistability, and stochastic behavior–concepts familiar to physicists and chemists–are now being used to tackle issues associated with living systems such as adaptation, feedback, and emergent behavior.

Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences discusses how some of the most important scientific and societal challenges can be addressed, at least in part, by collaborative research that lies at the intersection of traditional disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and physics. This book describes how some of the mysteries of the biological world are being addressed using tools and techniques developed in the physical sciences, and identifies five areas of potentially transformative research. Work in these areas would have significant impact in both research and society at large by expanding our understanding of the physical world and by revealing new opportunities for advancing public health, technology, and stewardship of the environment.

This book recommends several ways to accelerate such cross-discipline research. Many of these recommendations are directed toward those administering the faculties and resources of our great research institutions–and the stewards of our research funders, making this book an excellent resource for academic and research institutions, scientists, universities, and federal and private funding agencies.

All New Publications This Week

Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing Workforce (prepublication)

Envisioning the 2020 Census (prepublication)

A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension (prepublication)

Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience: A Workshop Report (prepublication)

Spectrum Management for Science in the 21st Century (final)

An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions (final)

New Books: Gaming, Science Education, Water Quality and More

Our weekly roundup of the new books on the NAP site this week includes a technical assessment of modeling, simulation and gaming, a look at science education in the 21st century and a couple of publications around energy.

Featured Publication

The Rise of Games and High Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation (prepublication)

The technical and cultural boundaries between modeling, simulation, and games are increasingly blurring, providing broader access to capabilities in modeling and simulation and further credibility to game-based applications. The purpose of this study is to provide a technical assessment of Modeling, Simulation, and Games (MS&G) research and development worldwide and to identify future applications of this technology and its potential impacts on government and society. Further, this study identifies feasible applications of gaming and simulation for military systems; associated vulnerabilities of, risks to, and impacts on critical defense capabilities; and other significant indicators and warnings that can help prevent or mitigate surprises related to technology applications by those with hostile intent. Finally, this book recommends priorities for future action by appropriate departments of the intelligence community, the Department of Defense research community, and other government entities.

The Rise of Games and High Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation will serve as a useful tutorial and reference document for this particular era in the evolution of MS&G. The book also highlights a number of rising capabilities facilitated by MS&G to watch for in the coming years.

All New Publications This Week

Exploring the Intersection of Science Education and 21st Century Skills: A Workshop Summary (final)

Realizing the Energy Potential of Methane Hydrate for the United States (prepublication)

Medical Surge Capacity: Workshop Summary (prepublication)

Review and Assessment of Closure Plans for the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility and the Chemical Agent Munition Disposal System: Letter Report (final)

Driving and the Built Environment: The Effects of Compact Development on Motorized Travel, Energy Use, and CO2 Emissions — Special Report 298 (final)

Data on Federal Research and Development Investments: A Pathway to Modernization (final)

Improving State Voter Registration Databases: Final Report (final)

Protecting and Accessing Data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates: A Workshop Summary (final)

Technical Capabilities Necessary for Systemic Risk Regulation: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Letter Report Assessing the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program’s Science Framework (final)

New This Week: Secondhand Smoke, Helium, Water Quality

It’s Friday, which means that we’re rounding up the books that have come out this week, including the final on a book on secondhand smoke exposure, healthcare in a public health emergency or disaster and the final of a book on near-earth objects, which may be of interest to a certain doctor in Lorton, Virginia.

Featured Publication

Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence (final)

Data suggest that exposure to secondhand smoke can result in heart disease in nonsmoking adults. Recently, progress has been made in reducing involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke through legislation banning smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and other public places. The effect of legislation to ban smoking and its effects on the cardiovascular health of nonsmoking adults, however, remains a question.

Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects reviews available scientific literature to assess the relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and acute coronary events. The authors, experts in secondhand smoke exposure and toxicology, clinical cardiology, epidemiology, and statistics, find that there is about a 25 to 30 percent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease from exposure to secondhand smoke. Their findings agree with the 2006 Surgeon General’s Report conclusion that there are increased risks of coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality among men and women exposed to secondhand smoke. However, the authors note that the evidence for determining the magnitude of the relationship between chronic secondhand smoke exposure and coronary heart disease is not very strong.

Public health professionals will rely upon Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects for its survey of critical epidemiological studies on the effects of smoking bans and evidence of links between secondhand smoke exposure and cardiovascular events, as well as its findings and recommendations.

All New Publications This Week

Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Final Report (prepublication)

Selling the Nation’s Helium Reserve (prepublication)

Letter Report Assessing the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program’s Science Framework (prepublication)

Technical Capabilities Necessary for Systemic Risk Regulation: Summary of a Workshop (forthcoming)

Crisis Standards of Care: Summary of a Workshop Series (final)

New Publications: The Nation’s Fiscal Future, Hepatitis, Biofuels, And More

This week’s featured publication is Wednesday’s launch of Choosing The Nation’s Fiscal Future. You can read the full press release, watch the press briefing, or go to the Our Fiscal Future website.

We’re also getting a lot of attention for the newly-released report Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: A National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis B and C. Both of these reports are available as a free PDF download, and, as with almost all of our publications, they’re available to read in their entirety for free online.

Featured Publication

Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future (final)

A mismatch between the federal government’s revenues and spending, now and in the foreseeable future, requires heavy borrowing, leading to a large and increasing federal debt. That increasing debt raises a serious challenge to all of the goals that various people expect their government to pursue. It also raises questions about the nation’s future wealth and whether too much debt could lead to higher interest rates and even to loss of confidence in the nation’s long-term ability and commitment to honor its obligations. Many analysts have concluded that the trajectory of the federal budget set by current policies cannot be sustained.

In light of these projections,¬†Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future assesses the options and possibilities for a sustainable federal budget. This comprehensive book considers a range of policy changes that could help put the budget on a sustainable path: reforms to reduce the rate of growth in spending for Medicare and Medicaid; options to reduce the growth rate of Social Security benefits or raise payroll taxes; and changes in many other government spending programs and tax policies. The book also examines how the federal budget process could be revised to be more far sighted and to hold leaders accountable for responsible stewardship of the nation’s fiscal future.

Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future will provide readers with a practical framework to assess budget proposals for their consistency with long-term fiscal stability. It will help them assess what policy changes they want, consistent with their own values and their views of the proper role of the government and within the constraints of a responsible national budget. It will show how the perhaps difficult but possible policy changes could be combined to produce a wide range of budget scenarios to bring revenues and spending into alignment for the long term. This book will be uniquely valuable to everyone concerned about the current and projected fiscal health of the nation.

This Week’s New Publications

Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: A National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis B and C (prepublication)

Expanding Biofuel Production: Sustainability and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels: Summary of a Workshop (prepublication)

Report of a Workshop on The Scope and Nature of Computational Thinking (prepublication)

Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies (final)

Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United States (final)

Responsible Research with Biological Select Agents and Toxins (final)

A Transportation Research Program for Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change and Conserving Energy Special Report 299 (final)

New Publications: Near-Earth Objects, Engineering, Zoonotic Diseases and More

Happy new year! Things have been a little bit quiet around here with the winter holidays, so we’re listing out all the new publications for the last three weeks in one fell swoop to get the year started with a bang.

Also, don’t forget to check out the YouTube video that accompanies Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Disease.

Featured Publication

Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report (final)

The United States is currently the only country with an active, government-sponsored effort to detect and track potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs). Congress has mandated that NASA detect and track 90 percent of NEOs that are 1 kilometer in diameter or larger. These objects represent a great potential hazard to life on Earth and could cause global destruction. NASA is close to accomplishing this goal. Congress has more recently mandated that by 2020 NASA should detect and track 90 percent of NEOs that are 140 meters in diameter or larger, a category of objects that is generally recognized to represent a very significant threat to life on Earth if they strike in or near urban areas. Achieving this goal may require the building of one or more additional observatories, possibly including a space-based observatory.

Congress directed NASA to ask the National Research Council to review NASA’s near-Earth object programs. This interim report addresses some of the issues associated with the survey and detection of NEOs. The final report will contain findings and recommendations for survey and detection, characterization, and mitigation of near-Earth objects based on an integrated assessment of the problem.

All New Publications, 12/21/09 – 01/08/09

Phase I Report on Review of the Testing of Body Armor Materials for Use by the U.S. Army: Letter Report (final)

Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces (prepublication)

Engineering Curricula: Understanding the Design Space and Exploiting the Opportunities: Summary of a Workshop (final)

The Domestic and International Impacts of the 2009-H1N1 Influenza A Pandemic: Global Challenges, Global Solutions: Workshop Summary (prepublication)

Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts (final)

Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases (final)

Intangible Assets: Measuring and Enhancing Their Contribution to Corporate Value and Economic Growth: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Evaluation of NSF’s Program of Grants and Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE) (final)

An Assessment of NASA’s National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (final)

New Publications: Alternative Transportation, Value In Health Care, and More

Our featured new publication this week is the final version of Weight Gain During Pregnancy, which is one of a bunch of new publications to include a free PDF download. Look for “download the free PDF” below each new title.

Featured Publication

Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines (final)


As women of childbearing age have become heavier, the trade-off between maternal and child health created by variation in gestational weight gain has become more difficult to reconcile. Weight Gain During Pregnancy responds to the need for a reexamination of the 1990 Institute of Medicine guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy. It builds on the conceptual framework that underscored the 1990 weight gain guidelines and addresses the need to update them through a comprehensive review of the literature and independent analyses of existing databases. The book explores relationships between weight gain during pregnancy and a variety of factors (e.g., the mother’s weight and height before pregnancy) and places this in the context of the health of the infant and the mother, presenting specific, updated target ranges for weight gain during pregnancy and guidelines for proper measurement. New features of this book include a specific range of recommended gain for obese women.

Weight Gain During Pregnancy is intended to assist practitioners who care for women of childbearing age, policy makers, educators, researchers, and the pregnant women themselves to understand the role of gestational weight gain and to provide them with the tools needed to promote optimal pregnancy outcomes.

All New Publications This Week

Achieving Effective Acquisition of Information Technology in the Department of Defense (prepublication)

Investor Exits, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Firm Growth: Questions for Research (final)

Review of the St. Johns River Water Supply Impact Study: Report 2 (prepublication)

The Healthcare Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes: Brief Summary of a Workshop (prepublication)

Value in Health Care: Accounting for Cost, Quality, Safety, Outcomes, and Innovation (prepublication)

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (prepublication)

America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation (final)

Recognition and Alleviation of Pain in Laboratory Animals (final)

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Sustainability Partnerships: Summary of a Workshop (final)

America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation: Summary Edition (final)

New This Week: Health Literacy, Energy Efficiency, Biological Threats

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the publications new this week to nap.edu. Many of our publications have PDFs that you can download for free, but look in the “Download Free” section of each book’s main page for a free PDF of the executive summary if you’d like a sample of the book before you buy it or download.

Featured Publication

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States (prepublication)


America’s economy and lifestyles have been shaped by the low prices and availability of energy. In the last decade, however, the prices of oil, natural gas, and coal have increased dramatically, leaving consumers and the industrial and service sectors looking for ways to reduce energy use. To achieve greater energy efficiency, we need technology, more informed consumers and producers, and investments in more energy-efficient industrial processes, businesses, residences, and transportation.

As part of the America’s Energy Future project, Realistic Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States examines the potential for reducing energy demand through improving efficiency by using existing technologies, technologies developed but not yet utilized widely, and prospective technologies. The book evaluates technologies based on their estimated times to initial commercial deployment, and provides an analysis of costs, barriers, and research needs. This quantitative characterization of technologies will guide policy makers toward planning the future of energy use in America. This book will also have much to offer to industry leaders, investors, environmentalists, and others looking for a practical diagnosis of energy efficiency possibilities.

All New Publications This Week

Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan (prepublication)

Measures of Health Literacy: Workshop Summary (final)

BioWatch and Public Health Surveillance: Evaluating Systems for the Early Detection of Biological Threats: Abbreviated Version: Summary (prepublication)

Addressing the Threat of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: A Realistic Assessment of the Challenge: Workshop Summary (final)

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity (final)

New This Week: NASA, Evolution, Childhood Obesity

New this week we have two publications on the prevention of childhood obesity, continuing education in the health professions, humane issues in the use of random source dogs and cats in research, and one of the books from the In The Light Of Evolution series.

Featured New Publication

Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis: Workshop Summary (prepublication)


In 2007 and 2008, the world witnessed a dramatic increase in food prices. The global financial crisis that began in 2008 compounded the burden of high food prices, exacerbating the problems of hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. The tandem food price and economic crises struck amidst the massive, chronic problem of hunger and undernutrition in developing countries. National governments and international actors have taken a variety of steps to mitigate the negative effects of increased food prices on particular groups. The recent abrupt increase in food prices, in tandem with the current global economic crisis, threatens progress already made in these areas, and could inhibit future efforts.

The Institute of Medicine held a workshop, summarized in this volume, to describe the dynamic technological, agricultural, and economic issues contributing to the food price increases of 2007 and 2008 and their impacts on health and nutrition in resource-poor regions. The compounding effects of the current global economic downturn on nutrition motivated additional discussions on these dual crises, their impacts on the nutritional status of vulnerable populations, and opportunities to mitigate their negative nutritional effects.

All New Publications

Redesigning Continuing Education in the Health Professions (prepublication)

An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions (prepublication)

A Database for a Changing Economy: Review of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) (prepublication)

Benefit-Cost Analysis for Early Childhood Interventions: Workshop Summary (final)

In the Light of Evolution III: Two Centuries of Darwin (final)

Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random Source Dogs and Cats in Research (final)

Race, Ethnicity, and Language Data: Standardization for Health Care Quality Improvement (final)

A Review of the NIOSH Roadmap for Research on Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongate Mineral Particles (final)

Community Perspectives on Obesity Prevention in Children: Workshop Summaries (final)

Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas: Workshop Summary (final)

New Books: Science At Sea, Oral Health And Emergency Care

It’s an abbreviated week with the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, so Wednesday afternoon is taking the place of Friday afternoon in the announcements of what new has hit our site this week. For the Americans in our audience, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Featured New Book

Science at Sea: Meeting Future Oceanographic Goals with a Robust Academic Research Fleet (final)

The U.S. academic research fleet is an essential national resource, and it is likely that scientific demands on the fleet will increase. Oceanographers are embracing a host of remote technologies that can facilitate the collection of data, but will continue to require capable, adaptable research vessels for access to the sea for the foreseeable future. Maintaining U.S. leadership in ocean research will require investing in larger and more capable general purpose Global and Regional class ships; involving the scientific community in all phases of ship design and acquisition; and improving coordination between agencies that operate research fleets.

More New Books This Week

The U.S. Oral Health Workforce in the Coming Decade: Workshop Summary (final)

The National Emergency Care Enterprise: Advancing Care Through Collaboration: Workshop Summary (final)