Tag Archives: biology

Take 5: Top Books on Life Sciences

Got scientists and engineers on your holiday shopping list? Take five and check out our top gift ideas. NAP books and merchandise make thoughtful gifts for thinking people.

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition

A respected resource for decades, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals has been updated by a committee of experts, taking into consideration input from the scientific and laboratory animal communities and the public at large. The…
Details

Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI's Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax Letters

Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax Letters

Less than a month after the September 11, 2001 attacks, letters containing spores of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis, or B. anthracis) were sent through the U.S. mail. Between October 4 and November 20, 2001, 22 individuals developed anthrax; 5 of the…
Details

Science, Evolution, and Creationism
Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with…
Details

A New Biology for the 21st Century

A New Biology for the 21st Century

Now more than ever, biology has the potential to contribute practical solutions to many of the major challenges confronting the United States and the world. A New Biology for the 21st Century recommends that a “New Biology” approach–one that depends…
Details

Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States

Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward

Scores of talented and dedicated people serve the forensic science community, performing vitally important work. However, they are often constrained by lack of adequate resources, sound policies, and national support. It is clear that change and advancements,…
Details

DNA Testing: From the Doctor’s Office to the Drugstore

The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, identified the genes that make up human DNA. Major advances in genomic technologies in the early 21st century have helped to increase dramatically the number of genes identified as playing a role in a variety of common disorders. Genetic or genomic testing can be used to guide medical decision-making and treatment, ranging from personalized drug therapy to assessing an individual’s risk of developing common chronic diseases.

New reports from the Institute of Medicine discuss various possibilities for the future and potential issues that could arise from our ever-expanding knowledge of our genetic makeup. The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies: Workshop Summary explores the concept of value in regards to genomics and genetics and how that concept affects the ways decisions are made about using tests and technologies. This book brings together diverse perspectives on the value of genetic testing and discusses its use in clinical practice.

Advances in our understanding of genomics, combined with significant reductions in the cost of genetic tests, have spawned new business models in which companies market genetic tests and personalized genetic profiles directly to consumers. For example, it is now possible to purchase a home DNA paternity test at many pharmacies in the United States. Special DNA test kits allow anyone to trace their ancestry. Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Summary of a Workshop discusses the scientific and ethical foundations for commercial genetic testing, personal and social issues, research and medical issues, and the impact on health care and public health.

These books and others from the Institute of Medicine explore the possibilities and directions for the future for both researchers and private industry.

The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies

The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies: Workshop Summary

Knowing one’s genetic disposition to a variety of diseases, including common chronic diseases, can benefit both the individual and society at large. The IOM’s Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health held a workshop on March 22, 2010, to…
Details

 

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Summary of a Workshop

Today, scores of companies, primarily in the United States and Europe, are offering whole genome scanning services directly to the public. The proliferation of these companies and the services they offer demonstrate a public appetite for this information and…
Details

 

Establishing Precompetitive Collaborations to Stimulate Genomics-Driven Drug Development

Establishing Precompetitive Collaborations to Stimulate Genomics-Driven Drug Development: Workshop Summary

Despite the many basic research discoveries in genetics, relatively few gene-based treatments, drugs, or preventative measures have been developed. One way to bridge this gap may be for industry, academia, and government to develop partnerships that share…
Details

 

Systems for Research and Evaluation for Translating Genome-Based Discoveries for Health

Systems for Research and Evaluation for Translating Genome-Based Discoveries for Health: Workshop Summary

With the advent of genome-wide association studies, numerous associations between specific gene loci and complex diseases have been identified–for breast cancer, coronary artery disease, and asthma, for example. This rapidly advancing field of genomics has…
Details

 

Innovations in Service Delivery in the Age of Genomics

Innovations in Service Delivery in the Age of Genomics: Workshop Summary

New discoveries in genomics–that is, the study of the entire human genome–are changing how we diagnose and treat diseases. As the trend shifts from genetic testing largely being undertaken for rare genetic disorders to, increasingly, individuals being…
Details

 

Diffusion and Use of Genomic Innovations in Health and Medicine

Diffusion and Use of Genomic Innovations in Health and Medicine: Workshop Summary

Until fairly recently, genetic information was used primarily in the diagnosis of relatively rare genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s Disease, but a transformation in the use of genetic and genomic information is underway. While…
Details

 

Free PDF Downloads, Audio, Video and More for January 2011

As we begin a new year, the National Academies Press offers you the following selection of books, videos, and podcasts free of charge. Start collecting free resources for your personal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) library today.

Implementing the New Biology Implementing the New Biology: Decadal Challenges Linking Food, Energy, and the Environment: Summary of a Workshop, June 3-4, 2010
As the second decade of the 21st century begins, the challenge of how to feed a growing world population and provide sustainable, affordable energy to fulfill daily needs, while also improving human health and protecting the environment, is clear and urgent…
Details
The Science of Adolescent Risk-Taking The Science of Adolescent Risk-Taking: Workshop Report (Prepublication Available)
Adolescence is a time when youth make decisions, both good and bad, that have consequences for the rest of their lives. Some of these decisions put them at risk of lifelong health problems, injury, or death. The Institute of Medicine held three public workshops between 2008…
Details
Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences
The Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences workshop was held to engage the life sciences community on the particular security issues related to research with dual use potential. More than 60 participants from…
Details
Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey
(Prepublication Available)
The 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (NWNH), outlines a scientifically exciting and programmatically integrated plan for both ground- and space-based astronomy and astrophysics in…
Details
Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Summary of a Workshop
Today, scores of companies, primarily in the United States and Europe, are offering whole genome scanning services directly to the public. The proliferation of these companies and the services they offer demonstrate a public appetite for this information and…
Details
Avoiding Technology Surprise for Tomorrow's Warfighter--Symposium 2010 Avoiding Technology Surprise for Tomorrow’s Warfighter–Symposium 2010
The Symposium on Avoiding Technology Surprise for Tomorrow’s Warfighter is a forum for consumers and producers of scientific and technical intelligence to exchange perspectives on the potential sources of emerging or disruptive technologies and behaviors…
Details
Evaluation of U.S. Air Force Preacquisition Technology Development Evaluation of U.S. Air Force Preacquisition Technology Development
(Prepublication Available)
From the days of biplanes and open cockpits, the air forces of the United States have relied on the mastery of technology. From design to operation, a project can stretch to 20 years and more, with continuous increases in cost. Much of the delay and cost…
Details
The Prevention and Treatment of Missing Data in Clinical Trials The Prevention and Treatment of Missing Data in Clinical Trials
Randomized clinical trials are the primary tool for evaluating new medical interventions. Randomization provides for a fair comparison between treatment and control groups, balancing out, on average, distributions of known and unknown factors among the…
Details
Sex Differences and Implications for Translational Neuroscience Research Sex Differences and Implications for Translational Neuroscience Research: Workshop Summary (Prepublication Available)
Biological differences between the sexes influence not only individual health but also public health, biomedical research, and health care. The Institute of Medicine held a workshop March 8-9, 2010, to discuss sex differences and their implications for…
Details
State Assessment Systems State Assessment Systems: Exploring Best Practices and Innovations: Summary of Two Workshops
Educators and policy makers in the United States have relied on tests to measure educational progress for more than 150 years, and have used the results for many purposes. They have tried minimum competency testing; portfolios; multiple-choice items, brief…
Details
Preparing for the Future of HIV/AIDS in Africa Preparing for the Future of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Shared Responsibility
(Prepublication Available)
HIV/AIDS is a catastrophe globally but nowhere more so than in sub-Saharan Africa, which in 2008 accounted for 67 percent of cases worldwide and 91 percent of new infections. The Institute of Medicine recommends that the United States and African nations move toward a strategy…
Details
Measuring the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey Measuring the Group Quarters Population in the American Community Survey: Interim Report
Following several years of testing and evaluation, the American Community Survey (ACS) was launched in 2005 as a replacement for the census “long form,” used to collect detailed social, economic, and housing data from a sample of the U.S. population as part…
Details

FREE VIDEO

lights at night Lights at Night
Explore images of Earth at night and compare images from 1993, 1997 and 2003 to infer changes in population, energy consumption, energy efficiency and economic activity. 
 
landscapes on the edge Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth’s Surface
Chemical, physical, biotic, and human processes constantly reshape Earth’s surface from particles to continents, over timescales from nanoseconds to millions of years. In this video, Dr. Dorothy Merritts describes the research agenda laid out in this recent National Research Council book.
 
Adolescent Health Services Adolescent Health Services: Missing Opportunities
Adolescence is a time when youth establish health habits, both good and bad, that often last a lifetime, yet the U.S. health care system today is not designed to help young people develop healthy routines, behaviors, and relationships to prepare them for adulthood. Learn more in this video.
 
bone detective The Bone Detective
Diane France loves bones. Why? Because they talk to her. Every skeleton she meets whispers secrets about the life and death of its owner. Diane France can hear those secrets because she’s a forensic anthropologist, a bone detective. Watch this video to learn about the work of this world-renowned bone detective.

FREE AUDIO

podcast-sos-image Listen to Sounds of Science podcasts on topics ranging from energy to metagenomics free-of-charge today.
Featured Podcasts:

The podcasts above are based on books published by the National Academies Press. To receive a 20% discount on the print version of these titles, visit our Special Offers page.


MORE FREE RESOURCES

Understanding Biosecurity Understanding Biosecurity: Protecting Against the Misuse of Science in Today’s World
Drawing on the work of the National Academies, this booklet introduces some of the issues at the intersection of science and security. The life sciences offer tremendous promise for meeting many 21st century challenges. Read more
 
What You Need to Know About Infectious Disease What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease
This publication from the Institute of Medicine examines the relationship between humans and microbes. The booklet discusses how infection works, identifies disease threats, and explores global challenges. Learn more
Engineer Your Life Engineer Your Life
This web site, designed for high school girls, promotes engineering as a career choice.  It features tips on preparing for an engineering career and includes profiles of women engineers, as well as resources for teachers and counselors.
evolution res Evolution Resources
The Evolution Resources web site explains the methods of science, documents the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluates the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including “intelligent design.” The site includes reports, publications, and resources for teaching evolution.

Free from NAP: Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited; The Future of Nursing; and more

The National Academy of Sciences is committed to making its headquarters, built on the National Mall in 1924, more energy efficient and environmentally advanced. Learn more about this major restoration project.

Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5
In the face of so many daunting near-term challenges, U.S. government and industry are letting the crucial strategic issues of U.S. competitiveness slip below the surface. Five years ago, the National Academies prepared Rising Above the Gathering…
Details
The Future of Nursing The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health
Prepublication Available
The Future of Nursing
explores how nurses’ roles, responsibilities, and education should change significantly to meet the increased demand for care that will be created by health care reform and to advance improvements in America’s increasingly…
Details
Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads
Prepublication Available
In order for the United States to maintain the global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology that are critical to achieving national goals, we must invest in research, encourage innovation, and grow a strong and talented science and…
Details
Pathways to Urban Sustainability Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems
More than half of the world’s people now live in cities. In the U.S., the figure is 80 percent. It is worthwhile to consider how this trend of increased urbanization, if inevitable, could be made more sustainable. One fundamental shortcoming of urban research…
Details
New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically over the course of the last few decades.  The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to physics…
Details
Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop
From the origin of the leak, to the amount of oil released into the environment, to the spill’s duration, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill poses unique challenges to human health. The risks associated with extensive, prolonged use of dispersants, with oil…
Details
Biometric Recognition Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities
Forthcoming
Biometric recognition–the automated recognition of individuals based on their behavioral and biological characteristic–is promoted as a way to help identify terrorists, provide better control of access to physical facilities and financial accounts…
Details
Implementing the New Biology Implementing the New Biology: Decadal Challenges Linking Food, Energy, and the Environment: Summary of a Workshop, June 3-4, 2010
Prepublication Available
As the second decade of the 21st century begins, the challenge of how to feed a growing world population and provide sustainable, affordable energy to fulfill daily needs, while also improving human health and protecting the environment, is clear and urgent…
Details
Antibiotic Resistance Antibiotic Resistance: Implications for Global Health and Novel Intervention Strategies: Workshop Summary
Prepublication Available
Years of using, misusing, and overusing antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs has led to the emergence of multidrug-resistant ‘superbugs.’ The IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats held a public workshop April 6-7 to discuss the nature and sources of…
Details
Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Third Biennial Review–2010
Prepublication Available
Although the progress of environmental restoration projects in the Florida Everglades remains slow overall, there have been improvements in the pace of restoration and in the relationship between the federal and state partners over the last two years….
Details
Assessment of Sea-Turtle Status and Trends Assessment of Sea-Turtle Status and Trends: Integrating Demography and Abundance
All six species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as endangered or threatened, but the exact population sizes of these species are unknown due to a lack of key information regarding birth and survival rates. The U.S. Endangered Species Act…
Details
Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles
Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles
evaluates various technologies and methods that could improve the fuel economy of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, transit…
Details
Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Summary of a Workshop
Prepublication Available
Models are fundamental for estimating the possible costs and effectiveness of different policies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There is a wide array of models to perform such analysis, differing in the level of technological detail, treatment…
Details
S&T Strategies of Six Countries S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States
An increase in global access to goods and knowledge is transforming world-class science and technology (S&T) by bringing it within the capability of an unprecedented number of global parties who must compete for resources, markets, and talent. In…
Details

Watch compelling videos from the National Academies on YouTube

A New Biology for the 21st Century A New Biology for the 21st Century
Sustaning Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response
to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases
acc vid America’s Climate Choices:
Advancing the Science of Climate Change

innovations Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

The National Academy of Engineering works with the Washington, DC region’s only all-news radio station, WTOP Radio, and the nation’s only all-news radio station for federal employees, WFED 1500 AM, to provide weekly features highlighting engineering innovations and stories that add technical context to issues in the news.

InterViews from NAS Interviews from NAS

InterViews provides first-person accounts of the lives and work of National Academy of Sciences members. In this series of one-on-one conversations, scientists talk about what inspired them to pursue the careers they chose and describe some of the most fascinating aspects of their research.

PNAS Science Sessions Science Sessions from PNAS

Listen to 5-minute, nontechnical conversations with cutting-edge researchers, Academy members, and policy makers as they discuss topics relevant to today’s scientific community. Learn the behind-the-scenes story of work published in PNAS, plus a broad range of scientific news about discoveries that affect the world around us.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month Featured Podcast

Meeting the Psychosocial Needs of Women with Breast Cancer Meeting the Psychosocial Needs of Women with Breast Cancer

In this podcast the National Cancer Policy Board of the Institute of Medicine examines the psychosocial consequences of the cancer experience, specifically on breast cancer in women because this group has the largest survivor population (over 2 million) and this disease is the most extensively studied cancer from the standpoint of psychosocial effects.

Read this report online for free
Visit the IOM report page

National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of SciencesThe National Academy of Sciences’ neoclassical building is a symbol of the important role of science in our nation’s history. The restoration project includes sustainable designs and green technologies, including the use of some solar power and green construction materials. These efforts will reduce the building’s energy use by an estimated 40 percent. Workers will also recycle materials removed from the building during construction.


Restoration of the Historic National Academy of Sciences Building
Scaffolding on Constitution Ave. side of NAS Building Constitution Ave. side of the NAS building covered in scaffolding
Lecture Room under construction The Lecture Room under construction
Deinstalling Prometheus Bound Deinstalling Albert Herter’s mural, Prometheus Bound, from the north wall of the Great Hall
Deinstallation of Prometheus Bound Deinstallition of Albert Herter’s mural, Prometheus Bound, continues
Deinstallation of Founders of the Academy Deinstalling Albert Herter’s mural, Founders of the Academy, from the Lincoln Board Room

Learn more about the restoration project.

New Books This Week: Data Integrity, Counterterrorism, The Biology Revolution and More

Friday brings us to the close of the week and the usual recap of what’s fresh and new here at nap.edu. Next week’s post may be a little delayed by the Thanksgiving holiday, but if there’s new stuff, we’ll be sure you know.

Featured New Book

Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism (final)


The U.S. military forces currently face a nontraditional threat from insurgents and terrorists who primarily employ improvised explosive devices, and have shown a cycle of adaptation of less than 12 months to responses by U.S. forces to counter these attacks. This constantly evolving threat requires U.S. military forces to adapt and respond more rapidly with modified tactics, technologies, and/or equipment.

In response to this need for new technologies, the Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) was established in 2006 to develop technologies that can mature in 6 to 18 months for purposes of counterterrorism. Although RRTO appears to be successfully fulfilling its mission, the agency seeks to understand and address barriers to and opportunities for meeting future counterterrorism needs–including the need to accelerate the transition of technologies for counterterrorism with an eye to countering emerging and anticipated threats. This book reviews RRTO approaches and provides a set of recommendations for potential improvements to help meet these needs for rapid technology development.

All New Books This Week

Disposal of Legacy Nerve Agent GA and Lewisite Stocks at Deseret Chemical Depot: Letter Report  (final)

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

Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth’s Surface (prepublication)

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

Review of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Corrosion Prevention Standards for Ductile Iron Pipe (final)

Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age (final)

Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008 (final)

A New Biology for the 21st Century: Ensuring the United States Leads the Coming Biology Revolution (final)

Biographical Memoirs: V. 91

New Video: A New Biology For The 21st Century

A great new video from the Division of Earth And Life Sciences joins our growing stable of videos on the National Academies YouTube channel.

The official description:

“Following the release of a National Academies report on the future of biological science, three of the study’s authors discuss its key findings. A New Biology for the 21st Century identifies how biology can help meet challenges like feeding a growing population, providing adequate health care, generating energy to meet increasing demands, and coping with global climate change. In this video, Dr Phillip Sharp, Dr. Anthony Janetos, and Dr. Keith Yamamoto explain the study’s goals and conclusions.”