Tag Archives: life sciences

Great Holiday Gifts For Science Enthusiasts

Happy holidays from NAP!

Believe it or not, we’re coming up on the holidays already, and NAP has gift ideas for the science-and-math-minded person in your life, from good reads to science and math fun. And best of all? You can take 25% off of the list price on all these great books and merchandise. Use the code GIFT13 at checkout for a 25% discount.

Women’s Adventures In Science

Women’s Adventures in Science, a biography set of 9 books about contemporary women scientists and their fascinating careers, shows that the path from intellectually curious girl to talented innovator is a unique as the personality and circumstances of each scientist.

Teacher FUNdamentals

Science Teacher FUNdamentals
$124.95
$93.71
Math Teacher FUNdamentals
$99.99
$74.99

A great gift set for your favorite teacher, our Science and Math FUNdamentals combine our cutting edge STEM education titles and fun items.

Math


Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century


Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis


Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra

Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century
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$14.96
Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis
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Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra
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Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities


Math Mug


Prime Time Wrist Watch

Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities
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Math Mug
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Prime Time Wrist Watch
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Physics


Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter


Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation


Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society

Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter
$64.00
$48.00
Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation
$65.00
$48.75
Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society
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The Depths of Space: The Story of the Pioneer Planetary Probes


Einstein Finger Puppet


Higgs Boson Watch

The Depths of Space: The Story of the Pioneer Planetary Probes
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Einstein Finger Puppet
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Higgs Boson Watch
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Engineering


Messaging for Engineering: From Research to Action


Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels


Electronic Brains: Stories from the Dawn of the Computer Age

Messaging for Engineering: From Research to Action
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Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels
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Electronic Brains: Stories from the Dawn of the Computer Age
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The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World


Edison Finger Puppet


Leonardo da Vinci Watch

The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World
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Edison Finger Puppet
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Leonardo da Vinci Watch
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Life Sciences


Science, Evolution, and Creationism


Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist's View of Genetically Modified Food


Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth's Ancient Atmosphere

Science, Evolution, and Creationism
$9.95
$7.46
Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist’s View of Genetically Modified Food
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Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth’s Ancient Atmosphere
$27.95
$20.96


Darwin's Gift: To Science and Religion


Dinosaur Mug


Darwin Finger Puppet

Darwin’s Gift: To Science and Religion
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Dinosaur Mug
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Darwin Finger Puppet
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For Science Teachers


Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States


A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas


Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms

Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States
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A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas
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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms
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The Dual Use Dilemma: Biological Research and Security in an Age of Terrorism

The great achievements of molecular biology and genetics over the last 50 years have produced advances in agriculture and industrial processes and have revolutionized the practice of medicine. The very technologies that fueled these benefits to society, however, pose a potential risk as well—the possibility that these technologies could also be used to create the next generation of biological weapons. Biotechnology represents a “dual use” dilemma in which the same technologies can be used legitimately for human betterment and misused for bioterrorism.

The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council have produced a number of reports on the subject of bioterrorism and dual use issues in life science research. All are free to download.

Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism

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Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism
164 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50
In recent years much has happened to justify an examination of biological research in light of national security concerns. The destructive application of biotechnology research includes activities such as spreading common pathogens or transforming them…[more]
Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences

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Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences
146 pages | Paperback | Price: $22.50The 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… [more]
A Survey of Attitudes and Actions on Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences

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A Survey of Attitudes and Actions on Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences: A Collaborative Effort of the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science
188 pages | Paperback | Price: $78.30 The same technologies that fuel scientific advances also pose potential risks–that the knowledge, tools, and techniques gained through legitimate biotechnology research could be misused to create biological weapons or for bioterrorism. This is often called… [more]
Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences

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Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences
318 pages | Paperback | Price: $50.40
Biomedical advances have made it possible to identify and manipulate features of living organisms in useful ways&#8212leading to improvements in public health, agriculture, and other areas. The globalization of scientific and technical expertise also means that… [more]

 

Biological Threats and Terrorism

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Biological Threats and Terrorism: Assessing the Science and Response Capabilities: Workshop Summary
336 pages | Paperback | Price: $37.80 In the wake of September 11th and recent anthrax events, our nation?s bioterrorism response capability has become an imminent priority for policymakers, researchers, public health officials, academia, and the private sector. In a three-day workshop, convened by.. .[more]

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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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,…
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Beyond the Space Shuttle: Future Directions for Space Exploration and Research

Atlantis blasted off for its final mission last week, marking the end of the space shuttle program. As we look back on what we have learned from the space shuttle and other space research programs, it is amazing to consider how far we can advance knowledge of our own solar system and planets beyond in just a few decades. Looking ahead, where do we go from here?

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era lays out steps that NASA can take to reinvigorate its partnership with the life and physical sciences research community and develops a forward-looking portfolio of research that will provide the basis for recapturing the excitement and value of human spaceflight. The recommendations of this report can guide the U.S. space program to deliver on new exploration initiatives that serve the nation, excite the public, and place the United States again at the forefront of space exploration for the global good.

Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 reviews the status of planetary science in the United States and develops a comprehensive strategy that will continue these advances in the coming decade. Drawing on extensive interactions with the broad planetary science community, this book presents a decadal program of science and exploration with the potential to yield revolutionary new discoveries. The program will achieve long-standing scientific goals with a suite of new missions across the solar system and will provide fundamental new scientific knowledge.

In astronomy and astrophysics, recent discoveries, powerful new ways to observe the universe, and bold new ideas to understand it have created scientific opportunities without precedent. New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics proposes a broad-based, integrated plan for space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics for the decade 2012-2021. It also lays the foundations for advances in the decade 2022-2031. Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics is a collection of reports, each of which addresses a key sub-area of the field, prepared by specialists in that subarea, and each of which plays an important role in setting overall priorities for the field.

These books and others from the Space Studies Board and the Board on Physics and Astronomy are fascinating and useful resources for the scientific community and the explorer in all of us.

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration
Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era

More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made since in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human…
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Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022
Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022

In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon’s poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life could have…
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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…
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Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Every ten years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, titled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall…
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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

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…
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Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions

Through an examination of case studies, agency briefings, and existing reports, and drawing on personal knowledge and direct experience, the Committee on Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Cooperation on Space and Earth Science Missions found that…
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Defending Planet Earth
Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies

The United States spends approximately $4 million each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. The majority of this funding supports the operation of several observatories that scan the sky…
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Capabilities for the Future
Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research

Over the past 5 years or more, there has been a steady and significant decrease in NASA’s laboratory capabilities, including equipment, maintenance, and facility upgrades. This adversely affects the support of NASA’s scientists, who rely on these…
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The Nation’s Science Report Card: Perspectives from the Board on Science Education

On the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2009 Science Report Card released last Tuesday, the United States received an overall grade of “needs improvement.” The test, which measures science proficiency, was administered to 4th, 8th, and 12th graders and underscores one of the major focal points of President Obama’s State of the Union address: the need to improve science education in the United States. Four in ten 12th grade students did not perform even at a basic level of science understanding, and only about a fifth were judged to be proficient in science, with just 1% performing at an advanced level. Furthermore, there is still a strong gap in the achievement of students based on ethnicity, educational attainment of parents and caregivers, and family income. The National Research Council’s Board on Science Education has produced a number of reports that discuss research and provide practical guidance to improve science education. We asked Tom Keller, Senior Program Officer with the board, for his thoughts.

“There has not been such momentum in science education in this country since the 1960s, and in contrast to the times when the nation responded to the Sputnik shock, we now know much more about effective science learning and teaching. Foundational work has been and is underway in the National Academies’ Board on Science Education (BOSE) that summarizes the enormous progress we have made through learning and education research over the last 20 years. BOSE published two seminal studies and their derivative products in two major areas of science learning: K-8 in schools, and the whole area of out-of-school or informal science learning. The report on learning science in K-8 classrooms, Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8, and the associated practitioner volume Ready, Set SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms have become important resources for classroom-based science teaching. The two reports on learning science in informal environments, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits, and its practitioner volume Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments are beginning to influence how museums, science centers, zoos and aquariums, and other institutions of informal learning think about their products for their public. Taking Science to School cites the research evidence and builds the case for the teaching and learning of more rigorous content than has been the usual. And proficiency has been defined as encompassing four strands of scientific proficiency – understanding scientific explanations, generating scientific evidence, reflecting on scientific knowledge and participating productively in science. Science is not just a body of facts; it is what you know, how you use that knowledge and how that knowledge helps you understand the world. The reports on informal learning expanded on these four strands of science proficiency by acknowledging more specifically the role of interest and motivation, and by addressing the crucial role of identity as a science learner.

“A number of factors are converging, leading to an unprecedented effort in science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Just recently, the Carnegie Corporation and the Institute for Advanced Studies released the Opportunity Equation, which lays out a framework for aligning the entire science education enterprise. The Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association led the creation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative in English language arts and mathematics. The president initiated the Race to the Top education reform efforts, Educate to Innovate, and Change the Equation. The President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology and the National Science Board each put forth their reports on K-12 science education. The National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council is currently finalizing a framework for next generation science standards and is working in a unique partnership with AAAS, NSTA, and Achieve on the framework and standards.”

National Research Council publications can certainly inform discussions and promote science education to move us from a “needs improvement” category to “clearly outstanding,” though it will take effort throughout the entire education system to get us there.

Taking Science to School

Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8

What is science for a child? How do children learn about science and how to do science? Drawing on a vast array of work from neuroscience to classroom observation, Taking Science to School provides a comprehensive picture of what we know about…
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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!

Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms

What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to…
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Learning Science in Informal Environments

Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits

Informal science is a burgeoning field that operates across a broad range of venues and envisages learning outcomes for individuals, schools, families, and society. The evidence base that describes informal science, its promise, and effects is informed by a…
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Surrounded by Science

Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments

Practitioners in informal science settings–museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens–are interested in finding out what learning looks like, how to measure it, and…
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Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations

Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations

At a time when scientific and technological competence is vital to the nation’s future, the weak performance of U.S. students in science reflects the uneven quality of current science education.  Although young children come to school with innate…
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Exploring the Intersection of Science Education and 21st Century Skills

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

An emerging body of research suggests that a set of broad “21st century skills”–such as adaptability, complex communication skills, and the ability to solve non-routine problems–are valuable across a wide range of jobs in the national economy. However, the…
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Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8

Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8: Building a Village in California: Summary of a Convocation

K-8 science education in California (as in many other parts of the country) is in a state of crisis. K-8 students in California spend too little time studying science, many of their teachers are not well prepared in the subject, and the support system for…
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Engineering in K-12 Education

Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects

Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other “STEM” subjects–science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student…
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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…
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America's Lab Report

America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science

Laboratory experiences as a part of most U.S. high science curricula have
been taken for granted for decades, but they have rarely been carefully
examined. What do they contribute to science learning? What can they
contribute to science learning? What is the…
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How Students Learn

How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom

How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom builds on the discoveries detailed in the best-selling How People Learn. Now these findings are presented in a way that teachers can use immediately, to revitalize their work in the classroom for even…
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How People Learn

How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition

This popular trade book, originally released in hardcover in the Spring of 1999, has been newly expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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.

Biosafety and Research: Controversy in Kansas

Monday, the National Research Council released a report that finds “several major shortcomings” in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security assessment of risks associated with operating the proposed National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kan. The National Research Council review of the DHS risk assessment finds that there is nearly a 70 percent chance over the 50-year lifetime of the facility that a release of Foot and Mouth Disease could result in an infection outside the laboratory, impacting the economy by estimates of $9 billion to $50 billion.

The planned National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility will be a state-of-the-art containment facility that will support programs that the nation and others will turn to as a global reference, training and research laboratory for foreign animal diseases. As a biosafety level 4 pathogen facility, the NBAF will be a high-containment laboratory with the ability to carry out critical research on agents that pose serious threats to U.S. animal and human heath by using large animals, such as cattle and swine.

Biosafety level assignments were created by the Centers for Disease Control to classify the relative danger to the surrounding environment. Biosafety level designations increase as the potential consequences of exposure to research materials become more hazardous. A Level 4 biosafety facility works with dangerous and exotic agents that pose a high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections, agents for which vaccines or other treatments are not available.

Recent publications of the National Research Council discuss aspects of research with select agents, including lab safety and security. This year the NRC has published reports to evaluate several high containment facilities, including the proposed Kansas site. These studies and other related titles can inform and guide discussion about research priorities, safety concerns, and dual-use issues.

Evaluation of a Site-Specific Risk Assessment for the Department of Homeland Security's Planned National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas

Evaluation of a Site-Specific Risk Assessment for the Department of Homeland Security’s Planned National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas

Congress requested that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) produce a site-specific biosafety and biosecurity risk assessment (SSRA) of the proposed National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas. The laboratory would study…
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Sequence-Based Classification of Select Agents

Sequence-Based Classification of Select Agents: A Brighter Line

Select Agents are defined in regulations through a list of names of particularly dangerous known bacteria, viruses, toxins, and fungi. However, natural variation and intentional genetic modification blur the boundaries of any discrete Select Agent list based…
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Evaluation of the Health and Safety Risks of the New USAMRIID High Containment Facilities at Fort Detrick, Maryland

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

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Maryland, is designed to handle pathogens that cause serious or potentially lethal diseases, which require the research performed on them be contained to specialized laboratories….
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Continuing Assistance to the National Institutes of Health on Preparation of Additional Risk Assessments for the Boston University NEIDL, Phase 1

Continuing Assistance to the National Institutes of Health on Preparation of Additional Risk Assessments for the Boston University NEIDL, Phase 1

In 2003, the Boston University Medical Center (BUMC) was awarded a $128 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to build one of two high- and maximum- containment laboratory facilities for research on biological pathogens. The National Emerging…
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BioWatch and Public Health Surveillance

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

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the anthrax letters, the ability to detect biological threats as quickly as possible became a top priority. In 2003 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) introduced the BioWatch program–a federal monitoring…
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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…
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Responsible Research with Biological Select Agents and Toxins

Responsible Research with Biological Select Agents and Toxins

The effort to understand and combat infectious diseases has, during the centuries, produced many key advances in science and medicine–including the development of vaccines, drugs, and other treatments. A subset of this research is conducted with agents that,…
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A Survey of Attitudes and Actions on Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences

A Survey of Attitudes and Actions on Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences: A Collaborative Effort of the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science

The same technologies that fuel scientific advances also pose potential risks–that the knowledge, tools, and techniques gained through legitimate biotechnology research could be misused to create biological weapons or for bioterrorism. This is often called…
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Department of Homeland Security Bioterrorism Risk Assessment

Department of Homeland Security Bioterrorism Risk Assessment: A Call for Change

The mission of Department of Homeland Security Bioterrorism Risk Assessment: A Call for Change, the book published in December 2008, is to independently and scientifically review the methodology that led to the 2006 Department of Homeland…
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Test and Evaluation of Biological Standoff Detection Systems

Test and Evaluation of Biological Standoff Detection Systems: Abbreviated Version

A biological warfare agent (BWA) is a microorganism, or a toxin derived from a living organism, that causes disease in humans, plants, or animals or that causes the deterioration of material. The effectiveness of a BWA is greatly reduced if the attack is…
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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 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