Since last June, hundreds of thousands of PDFs have been downloaded for free from the NAP website. Don’t miss out on your chance to read any of these top ten downloads in the Health and Medicine category. Continue reading
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|Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and ResearchChronic pain affects at least 116 million American adults–more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. It costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity. Pain is a uniquely individual…
|The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better UnderstandingAt a time when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals–often referred to under the umbrella acronym LGBT–are becoming more visible in society and more socially acknowledged, clinicians and researchers are faced with incomplete information about..|
|The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing HealthThe 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…
|For the Public’s Health: The Role of Measurement in Action and AccountabilityDespite having the costliest medical care delivery system in the world, Americans are not particularly healthy. Recent international comparisons show that life expectancy in the U.S. ranks 49th among all nations, and infant mortality rates are higher in the…|
|Accounting for Health and Health Care: Approaches to Measuring the Sources and Costs of Their ImprovementIt has become trite to observe that increases in health care costs have become unsustainable. How best for policy to address these increases, however, depends in part on the degree to which they represent increases in the real quantity of medical services as..|
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.
A new report released Tuesday says that the nation’s history of heavy smoking is a major reason why lifespans in the U.S. fall short of those in many other high-income nations, and evidence suggests that current obesity levels also play a substantial part. According to Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries, three to five decades ago smoking was much more widespread in the U.S. than in Europe or Japan, and the health consequences are still playing out in today’s mortality rates. Smoking appears to be responsible for a good deal of the differences in life expectancy, especially for women. Obesity’s contribution to lagging life expectancies in the U.S. also appears to be significant. It may account for a fifth to a third of the shortfall in longevity in the U.S. compared to other nations. And if the obesity trend in the U.S. continues, it may offset the longevity improvements expected from reductions in smoking.
The Institute of Medicine has published a number of books that address the problem of smoking in our nation. The most recent, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence addresses health effects of secondhand smoke. This book assesses the relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and acute coronary events. It also surveys critical epidemiological studies on the effects of smoking bans and evidence of links between secondhand smoke exposure and cardiovascular events.
The health and well-being of children in the United States are threatened by the ever-increasing number and percentage who are overweight and obese—now at one in four children. Childhood and adolescent obesity has increased dramatically in just three decades. Obese children and adolescents are more likely to have hypertension, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes when they are young, and they also are more likely to be obese when they are adults. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity serves as a tool for local government officials and those who work in partnership with them to help in tackling the prevention of childhood obesity in their jurisdictions.
These books and others from the Institute of Medicine provide information, recommendations, and analysis to assist decision-makers.
|Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries
Over the last 25 years, life expectancy at age 50 in the U.S. has been rising, but at a slower pace than in many other high-income countries, such as Japan and Australia. This difference is particularly notable given that the U.S. spends more on health care…
|Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence
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…
|Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity
The prevalence of childhood obesity is so high in the United States that it may reduce the life expectancy of today’s generation of children. While parents and other adult caregivers play a fundamental role in teaching children about healthy behaviors, even…
|Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations
The health and economic costs of tobacco use in military and veteran populations are high. In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) make recommendations on how to…
|Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation
The nation has made tremendous progress in reducing tobacco use during the past 40 years. Despite extensive knowledge about successful interventions, however, approximately one-quarter of American adults still smoke. Tobacco-related illnesses and death place a…
|Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making
To battle the obesity epidemic in America, health care professionals and policymakers need relevant, useful data on the effectiveness of obesity prevention policies and programs. Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention identifies a new…
|Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?
The remarkable increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and youth in the United States over a relatively short timespan represents one of the defining public health challenges of the 21st century. The country is beginning to recognize childhood…
Need to run to the grocery store? For some of us, this is relatively easy because we probably live fairly close to one. For others, a trip to a grocery store represents a significant transportation challenge. In the United States, “food deserts”, neighborhoods and communities that have limited access to affordable and nutritious foods, tend to be located in urban and rural low-income neighborhoods. People who live in these areas are less likely to have access to supermarkets or grocery stores that provide healthy choices for food. With limited or no access to food retailers or supermarkets that stock fresh produce, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and other healthy foods, these populations may be more likely to suffer from high rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
The Public Health Effect of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary discusses the public health effects—including the prevalence of obesity and the incidence of chronic diseases—of food deserts. This book offers insight on the extent of food deserts, their impact on individual behaviors and health outcomes in various populations, and effective ways to increase the availability of fruits and vegetables and to improve the food environment.
One serious health consequence of living in food deserts is, ironically, obesity. Without ready access to nutritious foods, people living in food deserts often have diets that are high in calories but low in nutritional value. To address this particular public health concern, the Institute of Medicine has published a number of reports that examine how we can roll back the obesity epidemic in the United States.
Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making examines obesity as a societal problem that affects whole populations, like those living in food deserts. This book features a practical, action-oriented framework to support the use of evidence in decision-making about obesity prevention policies and programs and sets a course for the development of new and relevant research.
The books mentioned above and others from the Institute of Medicine provide information and guidance for decision-makers to respond to the challenges of food deserts and their impact on our society.
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.
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: 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…
|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…
|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…
|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…
|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…
|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…
|Evaluation of U.S. Air Force Preacquisition Technology Development
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…
|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…
|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…
|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…
|Preparing for the Future of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Shared Responsibility
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…
|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…
|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: 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: 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.
|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.
|Listen to Sounds of Science podcasts on topics ranging from energy to metagenomics free-of-charge today.|
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: 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
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
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 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.
We’ve been a little quiet lately here at Notes From NAP, due largely to some technical tinkering we’ve needed to do as the summer quietly moves in, so our apologies. We’re back with a bang, though: Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals was released last week, and is our featured publication of the week. See more publications in the topic of Lab Animal Research.
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 Guide incorporates new scientific information on common laboratory animals, including aquatic species, and includes extensive references. It is organized around major components of animal use:
Key concepts of animal care and use. The Guide sets the framework for the humane care and use of laboratory animals.
Animal care and use program. The Guide discusses the concept of a broad Program of Animal Care and Use, including roles and responsibilities of the Institutional Official, Attending Veterinarian and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
Animal environment, husbandry, and management. A chapter on this topic is now divided into sections on terrestrial and aquatic animals and provides recommendations for housing and environment, husbandry, behavioral and population management, and more.
Veterinary care. The Guide discusses veterinary care and the responsibilities of the Attending Veterinarian. It includes recommendations on animal procurement and transportation, preventive medicine (including animal biosecurity), and clinical care and management. The Guide addresses distress and pain recognition and relief, and issues surrounding euthanasia.
Physical plant. The Guide identifies design issues, providing construction guidelines for functional areas; considerations such as drainage, vibration and noise control, and environmental monitoring; and specialized facilities for animal housing and research needs.
The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals provides a framework for the judgments required in the management of animal facilities. This updated and expanded resource of proven value will be important to scientists and researchers, veterinarians, animal care personnel, facilities managers, institutional administrators, policy makers involved in research issues, and animal welfare advocates.
All New Publications This Week
Considerations for Ensuring Safety and Efficacy of Vaccines and Therapeutic Proteins Manufactured by Using Platform Approaches: Summary of a Workshop (forthcoming)
A Foundation for Evidence-Drive Practice: A Rapid Learning System for Cancer Care: Workshop Summary (prepublication)
Assessment of Technologies for Improving Light Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy (prepublication)
A Summary of the December 2009 Forum on the Future of Nursing: Care in the Community (final)
Residential Energy Consumption Letter Report (final)
Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use (final)
Achieving Effective Acquisition of Information Technology in the Department of Defense (final)
The Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise: Innovative Strategies to Enhance Products from Discovery Through Approval: Workshop Summary (final)
Regionalizing Emergency Care: Workshop Summary (final)
There were two new publications this week, so we thought we’d give them both the featured publication treatment. If you’re looking for more books, we have plenty. Check our topics page for more in health and medicine and many other topics.
During public health emergencies such as pandemic influenza outbreaks or terrorist attacks, effective vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and other medical countermeasures are essential to protecting national security and peoples’ well-being. The Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE–a partnership among federal, state, and local governments; industry; and academia–is at the forefront of the effort to develop and manufacture these countermeasures. However, despite the PHEMCE’s many successes, there are still serious challenges to overcome. Government-funded medical research is not always focused on countermeasures for the most serious potential threats, and it is difficult to engage pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop and manufacture medical countermeasures that have a limited commercial market.
At the request of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the IOM held a workshop February 22-24, 2010, to address challenges facing the PHEMCE. Workshop participants discussed federal policies and procedures affecting the research, development, and approval of medical countermeasures and explored opportunities to improve the process and protect Americans’ safety and health.
For the United States, the1991 Persian Gulf War was a brief and successful military operation with few injuries and deaths. However, soon after returning from duty, a large number of veterans began reporting health problems they believed were associated with their service in the Gulf. At the request of Congress, the IOM is conducting an ongoing review of the evidence to determine veterans’ long-term health problems and what might be causing those problems. The fourth volume in the series, released in 2006, summarizes the long-term health problems seen in Gulf War veterans. In 2008, the IOM began an update to look at existing health problems and identify possible new ones, considering evidence collected since the initial summary.
In this report, the IOM determines that Gulf War service causes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and that service is associated with multisymptom illness; gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome; alcohol and other substance abuse; and anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders. To ensure that our veterans receive the best possible care, now and in the future, the government should continue to monitor their health and conduct research to identify the best treatments to assist Gulf War veterans still suffering from persistent, unexplained illnesses.
Friday brings us once again to the end of the work week and a roundup of the books that were new to nap.edu this week. Almost all of our books can be read online for free, and many have free PDFs to download, so check under each book’s title in this post for links to read online or if a free PDF is available.
Assessing and Improving Value in Cancer Care: Workshop Summary (final)
Unlike many other areas in health care, the practice of oncology presents unique challenges that make assessing and improving value especially complex. First, patients and professionals feel a well-justified sense of urgency to treat for cure, and if cure is not possible, to extend life and reduce the burden of disease. Second, treatments are often both life sparing and highly toxic. Third, distinctive payment structures for cancer medicines are intertwined with practice. Fourth, providers often face tremendous pressure to apply the newest technologies to patients who fail to respond to established treatments, even when the evidence supporting those technologies is incomplete or uncertain, and providers may be reluctant to stop toxic treatments and move to palliation, even at the end of life. Finally, the newest and most novel treatments in oncology are among the most costly in medicine.
This volume summarizes the results of a workshop that addressed these issues from multiple perspectives, including those of patients and patient advocates, providers, insurers, health care researchers, federal agencies, and industry. Its broad goal was to describe value in oncology in a complete and nuanced way, to better inform decisions regarding developing, evaluating, prescribing, and paying for cancer therapeutics.
Interacademy Programs Between the United States and Eastern Europe 1967-2009: The Changing Landscape (final)
Improving the Measurement of Late-Life Disability in Population Surveys: Beyond ADLs and IADLs: Summary of a Workshop (final)
Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public: A Summary of the February 2009 Summit (final)
Spectrum Management for Science in the 21st Century (prepublication)
Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8: Building a Village in California: Summary of a Convocation (final)