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.
Welcome to our weekly roundup of the publications new this week to nap.edu. Many of our publications have PDFs that you can download for free, but look in the “Download Free” section of each book’s main page for a free PDF of the executive summary if you’d like a sample of the book before you buy it or download.
America’s economy and lifestyles have been shaped by the low prices and availability of energy. In the last decade, however, the prices of oil, natural gas, and coal have increased dramatically, leaving consumers and the industrial and service sectors looking for ways to reduce energy use. To achieve greater energy efficiency, we need technology, more informed consumers and producers, and investments in more energy-efficient industrial processes, businesses, residences, and transportation.
As part of the America’s Energy Future project, Realistic Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States examines the potential for reducing energy demand through improving efficiency by using existing technologies, technologies developed but not yet utilized widely, and prospective technologies. The book evaluates technologies based on their estimated times to initial commercial deployment, and provides an analysis of costs, barriers, and research needs. This quantitative characterization of technologies will guide policy makers toward planning the future of energy use in America. This book will also have much to offer to industry leaders, investors, environmentalists, and others looking for a practical diagnosis of energy efficiency possibilities.
All New Publications This Week
Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan (prepublication)
Measures of Health Literacy: Workshop Summary (final)
BioWatch and Public Health Surveillance: Evaluating Systems for the Early Detection of Biological Threats: Abbreviated Version: Summary (prepublication)
Addressing the Threat of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: A Realistic Assessment of the Challenge: Workshop Summary (final)
Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity (final)