Tag Archives: aging

What You Need to Know About Cognitive Decline and Dementia

Societies around the world are concerned about dementia and the other forms of cognitive impairment that affect many older adults. It is now known that brain changes typically begin years before people show symptoms, which suggests a window of opportunity to prevent, slow, or delay the onset of these conditions. Our reports explore the state of knowledge on cognitive aging, and set a direction for future research.

Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward

Societies around the world are concerned about dementia and the other forms of cognitive impairment that affect many older adults. We now know that brain changes typically begin years before people show symptoms, which suggests a window of opportunity to prevent or delay the onset of these …

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Families Caring for an Aging America

Family caregiving affects millions of Americans every day, in all walks of life. At least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are caregivers of an older adult with a health or functional limitation. The nation’s family caregivers provide the lion’s share of long-term care for our …

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Neurodegeneration: Exploring Commonalities Across Diseases: Workshop Summary

Neurodegeneration: Exploring Commonalities Across Diseases is the summary of a workshop hosted by the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders in Spring 2012 to explore commonalities across neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, …

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Financing and Payment Strategies to Support High-Quality Care for People with Serious Illness: Proceedings of a Workshop

Millions of people in the United States live with serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia—often for many years. Those facing serious illness have a range of interconnected …

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Future Directions for the Demography of Aging: Proceedings of a Workshop

Almost 25 years have passed since the Demography of Aging (1994) was published by the National Research Council. Future Directions for the Demography of Aging is, in many ways, the successor to that original volume. The Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the National …

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Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action

For most Americans, staying “mentally sharp” as they age is a very high priority. Declines in memory and decision-making abilities may trigger fears of Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases. However, cognitive aging is a natural process that can have both positive and negative …

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Assessing the Impact of Applications of Digital Health Records on Alzheimer’s Disease Research: Workshop Summary

Health information technology is providing patients, clinicians, and researchers with access to data that will enable novel approaches to science and medicine. Digital health records (DHRs) are capable of being shared across different health care settings for the examination of possible trends …

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The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?

At least 5.6 million to 8 million–nearly one in five–older adults in America have one or more mental health and substance use conditions, which present unique challenges for their care. With the number of adults age 65 and older projected to soar from 40.3 million in 2010 to 72.1 million by …

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Considerations for the Design of a Systematic Review of Interventions for Preventing Clinical Alzheimer’s-Type Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Age-Related Cognitive Decline: Letter Report

The National Institutes of Health – and many other organizations and individuals worldwide – are interested in the state of the science on preventing Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, and age-related cognitive decline. This letter report reviews the evidence on interventions to …

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Caring for an Aging Population

This year marks the 10th anniversary of our influential book, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce. It called for bold initiatives to train all health care providers in the basics of geriatric care and to prepare family members and other informal caregivers, who might receive little or no training in how to tend to their aging loved ones. Retooling for an Aging America and our other publications remain essential resources for the care of our aging population.

Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce

As the first of the nation’s 78 million baby boomers begin reaching age 65 in 2011, they will face a health care workforce that is too small and woefully unprepared to meet their specific health needs.

Retooling for an Aging America calls for bold initiatives starting immediately to train …

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Families Caring for an Aging America

Family caregiving affects millions of Americans every day, in all walks of life. At least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are caregivers of an older adult with a health or functional limitation. The nation’s family caregivers provide the lion’s share of long-term care for our …

[more]

Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

For patients and their loved ones, no care decisions are more profound than those made near the end of life. Unfortunately, the experience of dying in the United States is often characterized by fragmented care, inadequate treatment of distressing symptoms, frequent transitions among care …

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The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?

At least 5.6 million to 8 million–nearly one in five–older adults in America have one or more mental health and substance use conditions, which present unique challenges for their care. With the number of adults age 65 and older projected to soar from 40.3 million in 2010 to 72.1 million by …

[more]

Strengthening the Workforce to Support Community Living and Participation for Older Adults and Individuals with Disabilities: Proceedings of a Workshop

As the demographics of the United States shift toward a population that is made up of an increasing percentage of older adults and people with disabilities, the workforce that supports and enables these individuals is also shifting to meet the demands of this population. For many older adults …

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Financing Long-Term Services and Supports for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Adults: Workshop Summary

Financing Long-Term Services and Supports for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Adults is the summary of a workshop convened in June 2013 by the Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence of the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council to examine the financing of …

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Policy and Research Needs to Maximize Independence and Support Community Living: Workshop Summary

Living independently and participating in one’s community are priorities for many people. In many regions across the United States, there are programs that support and enable people with disabilities and older adults to live where they choose and with whom they choose and to participate fully …

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New Directions in the Sociology of Aging

The aging of the population of the United States is occurring at a time of major economic and social changes. These economic changes include consideration of increases in the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare and possible changes in benefit levels. Furthermore, changes in the …

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The Future of Home Health Care: Workshop Summary

Individuals with disabilities, chronic conditions, and functional impairments need a range of services and supports to keep living independently. However, there often is not a strong link between medical care provided in the home and the necessary social services and supports for independent …

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Health Care Comes Home: The Human Factors

In the United States, health care devices, technologies, and practices are rapidly moving into the home. The factors driving this migration include the costs of health care, the growing numbers of older adults, the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and diseases and improved survival …

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Elder Abuse and Its Prevention: Workshop Summary

Elder Abuse and Its Prevention is the summary of a workshop convened in April 2013 by the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention. Using an ecological framework, this workshop explored the burden of elder abuse around the world, focusing on its impacts on individuals, …

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Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America

Since the late 1970s when Congressman Claude Pepper held widely publicized hearings on the mistreatment of the elderly, policy makers and practitioners have sought ways to protect older Americans from physical, psychological, and financial abuse. Yet, during the last 20 years fewer than 50 articles …

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Understanding Life Expectancy in the U.S.: Analysis Behind the Numbers

Over the past 25 years, life expectancy has been rising in the United States at a slower pace than has been achieved in many other high-income countries. Consequently, the United States has been falling steadily in the world rankings for level of life expectancy, and the gap between the United States and countries with the highest achieved life expectancies has been widening, especially for women.

The National Resource Council has recently released a report on this subject, Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries. We asked Barney Cohen, Director of the Committee on Population, for his comments:

“The relatively poor performance of the United States over the past 25 years is surprising given the country spends far more on health care than any other nation in the world, both absolutely and as a percentage of gross national product. Concerned about this divergence, the National Institute on Aging asked the National Research Council’s Committee on Population to examine evidence on possible causes. The panel concluded that a history of heavy smoking and elevated levels of obesity are two factors that are playing a substantial role in the relatively poor performance of the United States. The report should be of interest to both health researchers and policymakers.”

Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries identifies some of the main factors that have been driving differences in life expectancy among wealthy countries and discusses research gaps. This book points out that factors that contribute to lower life expectancy are more common among people of lower social status and those who are less likely to have lifetime access to health care.

A related book, International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages: Dimensions and Sources, is a collection of papers written by experts in the field to provide an assessment of the plausibility of the most obvious possible explanations that have been advanced to explain the poor position of the United States in terms of life expectancy above age 50. The authors, all of whom are at the forefront of work in their fields, provide state-of-the-art assessments of the research and identify gaps in measurement, data, theory, and research design.

These books and others from the Committee on Population can inform debate and guide decision-making.

Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries
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…
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International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages
International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages: Dimensions and Sources

In 1950 men and women in the United States had a combined life expectancy of 68.9 years, the 12th highest life expectancy at birth in the world. Today, life expectancy is up to 79.2 years, yet the country is now 28th on the list, behind the United Kingdom,…
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Assessing the Impact of Severe Economic Recession on the Elderly
Assessing the Impact of Severe Economic Recession on the Elderly: Summary of a Workshop

The economic crisis that began in 2008 has had a significant impact on the well-being of certain segments of the population and its disruptive effects can be expected to last well into the future. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), which is concerned with…
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Conducting Biosocial Surveys
Conducting Biosocial Surveys: Collecting, Storing, Accessing, and Protecting Biospecimens and Biodata

Recent years have seen a growing tendency for social scientists to collect biological specimens such as blood, urine, and saliva as part of large-scale household surveys. By combining biological and social data, scientists are opening up new fields of inquiry…
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Improving the Measurement of Late-Life Disability in Population Surveys
Improving the Measurement of Late-Life Disability in Population Surveys: Beyond ADLs and IADLs: Summary of a Workshop

Improving the Measurement of Late-Life Disability in Population Surveys summarizes a workshop organized to draw upon recent advances to improve the measurement of physical and cognitive disability in population surveys of the elderly population. The…
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Biosocial Surveys
Biosocial Surveys

Biosocial Surveys analyzes the latest research on the increasing number of multipurpose household surveys that collect biological data along with the more familiar interviewerrespondent information. This book serves as a follow-up to the 2003 volume,…
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Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises

Worldwide, millions of people are displaced annually because of natural or industrial disasters or social upheaval. Reliable data on the numbers, characteristics, and locations of these populations can bolster humanitarian relief efforts and recovery programs. …
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New Report States Smoking and Obesity Shrink U.S. Lifespans

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 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…
Details

Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects 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…
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Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity 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…
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Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations 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…
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Ending the Tobacco Problem 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…
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Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention 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…
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Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity 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…
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Take 5: Top 5 Books on Public Health and Nutrition

The scientists on your list may not always be the easiest people to shop for during the holidays. It should come as no surprise that we have recommendations. Take five and finish your holiday shopping with our most-recommended books for the health professional in your life.

Women's Health Research Women’s Health Research: Progress, Pitfalls, and Promise
Even though slightly over half of the U.S. population is female, medical research historically has neglected the health needs of women. However, over the past two decades, there have been major changes in government support of women’s health research…
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Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and PossibilitiesMental health and substance use disorders among children, youth, and young adults are major threats to the health and well-being of younger populations which often carryover into adulthood. The costs of treatment…
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Retooling for an Aging America Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce
As the first of the nation’s 78 million baby boomers begin reaching age 65 in 2011, they will face a health care workforce that is too small and woefully unprepared to meet their specific health needs. Retooling for an Aging America calls for…
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Preventing Childhood Obesity Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance
Children’s health has made tremendous strides over the past century. In general, life expectancy has increased by more than thirty years since 1900 and much of this improvement is due to the reduction of infant and early childhood mortality. Given this…
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Assessing Changing Food Consumption Patterns Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient RequirementsWidely regarded as the classic reference work for the nutrition, dietetic, and allied health professions since its introduction in 1943, Recommended Dietary Allowances has been the accepted source in nutrient allowances for healthy people. Responding to the expansion of scientific … Details

16 New Books: Greenhouse Gases, Gulf War and Health, Helium Reserve, and more

I hope that those of you in the U.S. had a happy and relaxing Independence Day weekend. We welcome you back to the working week with one of the biggest lists of new books that we’ve had since we’ve started posting them once a week here on Notes From NAP. There’s sixteen of them, the vast majority of which have free PDFs available.

Because of the high number of new books this week, we’re going to present it here as a simple list. If you have any comments or questions about Notes From NAP, feel free to contact us through this form. We’d love to get any feedback you might have.

New Publications This Week

Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies–Report 2 (final)

A Foundation for Evidence-Driven Practice: A Rapid Learning System for Cancer Care: Workshop Summary (final)

Strengthening the National Institute of Justice (prepublication)

Steps Toward Large-Scale Data Integration in the Sciences: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Third Report (prepublication)

International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages: Dimensions and Sources (prepublication)

Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century (final)

Demographic Changes, a View from California: Implications for Framing Health Disparities: Workshop Summary (final)

Selling the Nation’s Helium Reserve (final)

Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy (final)

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements (final)

Certifiably Sustainable?: The Role of Third-Party Certification Systems: Report of a Workshop (final)

Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World: A Critical Challenge to Achieve Global Health (final)

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

Gulf War and Health: Volume 8: Update of Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War (final)

Envisioning the 2020 Census (final)

Free from NAP: Thirteen PDFs To Download

Once a month we collect all the free resources available at your disposal and send an e-mail to our subscriber list (if you’re not already subscribed, subscribe here). Today’s e-mail had far too many free PDFs to include, but to make sure everyone can conveniently find all the new free PDFs we have to offer, here is the complete list:

Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in… Details
Envisioning the 2020 CensusEnvisioning the 2020 Census Planning for the 2020 census is already beginning. This book from the National Research Council examines several aspects of census planning, including questionnaire design, address updating, non-response follow-up, coverage follow-up, de-duplication of… Details
An Enabling Foundation for NASA's Space and Earth Science Missions An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions NASA’s space and Earth science program is composed of two principal components: spaceflight projects and mission-enabling activities. Most of the budget of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is applied to spaceflight missions, but NASA identifies nearly… Details
Infectious Disease Movement in a Borderless World Infectious Disease Movement in a Borderless World: Workshop Summary Modern transportation allows people, animals, and plants–and the pathogens they carry–to travel more easily than ever before. The ease and speed of travel, tourism, and international trade connect once-remote areas with one another, eliminating many of the… Details
Grand Challenges of Our Aging Society Grand Challenges of Our Aging Society: Workshop Summary
Aging populations are generating both challenges and opportunities for societies around the globe. Increases in longevity and improvements in health raise many questions. What steps can be taken to optimize physical and cognitive health and productivity… Details
Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces
Owing to the expansion of network-centric operating concepts across the Department of Defense (DOD) and the growing threat to information and cybersecurity from lone actors, groups of like-minded actors, nation-states, and malicious insiders, information… Details
Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis: Workshop Summary
In 2007 and 2008, the world witnessed a dramatic increase in food prices. The global financial crisis that began in 2008 compounded the burden of high food prices, exacerbating the problems of hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. The tandem food… Details
Revitalizing NASA's Suborbital Program Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce Suborbital flight activities, including the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons, and suborbital reusable launch vehicles, offer valuable opportunities to advance science, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and… Details
Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries There is growing concern about the possible use of toxic industrial chemicals or other hazardous chemicals by those seeking to perpetrate acts of terrorism. The U.S. Chemical Security Engagement Program (CSP), funded by the U.S. Department of State and run by..Details
NOAA's Education Program NOAA’s Education Program: Review and Critique There is a national need to educate the public about the ocean, coastal resources, atmosphere and climate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),  the agency responsible for understanding and predicting changes in the Earth’s… Details
Seventeenth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels Seventeenth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels Extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) can be released accidentally as a result of chemical spills, industrial explosions, and other accidents, or intentionally through terrorist activities. Workers and residents in communities surrounding industrial… Details
Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience: A Workshop Report The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) on the United States prompted a rethinking of how the United States prepares for disasters. Federal policy documents written since 9/11 have stressed that the private and public sectors share equal..Details
Spectrum Management for Science in the 21st Century Spectrum Management for Science in the 21st Century Radio observations of the cosmos are gathered by geoscientists using complex earth-orbiting satellites and ground-based equipment, and by radio astronomers using large ground-based radio telescopes. Signals from natural radio emissions are extremely weak, and… Details

New Books: NASA’s Suborbital Flight Program, Infectious Diseases, and more

We have a slight change to Notes From NAP: the weekly list of new publications on our site will now be on Mondays rather than the end of the day on Friday. As always, anyone interested in staying informed of the new books on the day they’re published can subscribe to the New From NAP RSS feed.

Featured Publication

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

Suborbital flight activities, including the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons, and suborbital reusable launch vehicles, offer valuable opportunities to advance science, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and provide opportunities for participants in the programs to acquire skills in systems engineering and systems integration that are critical to maintaining the nation’s leadership in space programs. Furthermore, the NASA Authorization Act of 2008 finds it in the national interest to expand the size of NASA’s suborbital research program and to consider increased funding.

The Space Studies Board assessed the current state and potential of NASA’s suborbital research programs and conduct a review of NASA’s capabilities in this area. The scope of this review included: existing programs that make use of suborbital flights; the status, capability, and availability of suborbital platforms; the existing or planned launch facilities for suborbital missions; and opportunities for scientific research, training, and educational collaboration in the conduct of suborbital missions by NASA.

The findings were that suborbital program elements–airborne, balloon, and sounding rockets–play vital and necessary strategic roles in NASA’s research, innovation, education, employee development, and spaceflight mission success, thus providing the foundation for achievement of agency goals.

All New Publications

Infectious Disease Movement in a Borderless World: Workshop Summary (final)

Grand Challenges of Our Aging Society: Workshop Summary (final)

Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces (final)

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