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DOE Should Maintain Sole Ownership of National Nuclear Security Administration Laboratories

Jan. 23, 2015

The U.S. Department of Energy should remain the sole sponsor of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories -- known collectively as the National Nuclear Security Administration laboratories -- but should also maintain a formally recognized strategic partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. intelligence community to help the NNSA labs understand the larger national security agenda and meet future national security needs, says a new report from the National Research Council. The report also identifies six key principles that any new governance model for the NNSA laboratories should observe.

Sea-Level Rise, Geohazards Among Priorities for Ocean Science Research

Jan. 23, 2015

A new report from the National Research Council identifies priority areas for ocean science research in the next decade, including the rate and impacts of sea-level rise, the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems, greater understanding of marine food webs, and better approaches for forecasting hazards such as mega-earthquakes and tsunamis. The report also recommends that the National Science Foundation rebalance its funding for ocean science research, which in recent years has shifted toward research infrastructure at the expense of core science programs. Read More

Honoring Outstanding Achievement in Science

Jan. 22, 2015

Since 1886, the National Academy of Sciences has honored outstanding achievement in the physical, biological, and social sciences through its awards program. NAS will announce the 2015 winners of various awards in January. As these announcements are made, links will be provided below as well as on Facebook and via Twitter.Winners in Physical Sciences and EngineeringWinners in Neuroscience and Psychological and Cognitive SciencesWinners in Earth and Space SciencesWinners in Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Review of California's Risk Assessment Process for Pesticides

Jan. 22, 2015

A new National Research Council report recommends several improvements the California Department of Pesticide Regulation could make to ensure its human health risk assessments for pesticides adhere to best practices.

New Report Evaluates Technological Alternatives to Bulk Data Collection

Jan. 15, 2015

No software-based technique can fully replace the bulk collection of signals intelligence, but methods can be developed to more effectively conduct targeted collection and to control the usage of collected data, says a new report from the National Research Council. Automated systems for isolating collected data, restricting queries that can be made against those data, and auditing usage of the data can help to enforce privacy protections and allay some civil liberty concerns, it says.

Report Proposes Professional Standards for Responsible Sharing of Clinical Trial Data

Jan. 14, 2015

Stakeholders in clinical trials should foster a culture in which data sharing is the expected norm and commit to responsible strategies aimed at maximizing the benefits, minimizing the risks, and overcoming the challenges of sharing data, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The report lays out recommended guidelines about which data from a clinical trial should be shared and when, such as the analytic data set that supports publication of results should be shared no later than six months after publication and the full analyzable data set should be shared no later than 18 months after study completion or 30 days after regulatory approval. Read More

Review of NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks

Jan. 14, 2015

NASA asked the Institute of Medicine to provide independent reviews of more than 30 publicly available evidence reports on human health risks for long-duration and exploration space flight. A new letter report from IOM -- the second in a series of five -- examines seven evidence reports on the risk of adverse health effects due to: alterations in host-microorganism interactions; altered immune response; inadequate human-computer interaction; inadequate design of human and automation/robotic integration; incompatible vehicle/habitat design; inadequate critical task design; and performance errors resulting from training deficiencies.The IOM report examines the quality of evidence, analysis, and overall construction of each evidence report, identifies gaps in report content, and encourages NASA to adopt formatting standards for consistency among all the evidence reports.

New Report Offers Framework to Analyze Consequences of Changes to Food System

Jan. 13, 2015

To aid U.S. policymakers and other stakeholders who make decisions about the nation's food system, a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council offers a framework for assessing the health, environmental, social, and economic effects of proposed changes to the system. Often, making a change that affects one part of the food system for one purpose has consequences -- intended or unintended -- for other parts of the system, the report says. Read More

World's Largest Gathering of Transportation Professionals to Highlight Transformative Technologies

Jan. 9, 2015

Approximately 12,000 people from around the world -- including policymakers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, journalists, and representatives of government, industry, and academia -- will gather from Jan. 11-15 for the Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Meeting. For the first time, the event will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., and involve more than 5,000 transportation-related presentations at nearly 750 sessions and workshops covering all transportation modes. This year's spotlight theme is "Corridors to the Future: Transportation and Technology."

Post-Vietnam Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated Aircraft

Jan. 9, 2015

Air Force reservists who worked after the Vietnam War in C-123 aircraft that sprayed Agent Orange during the war could have experienced adverse health effects from exposure to the herbicide, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The reservists who served in the contaminated C-123s experienced some degree of exposure to the toxic chemical component of Agent Orange known as TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin), and it is plausible, in some cases, that the reservists exceeded TCDD exposure guidelines for workers in enclosed settings. Read More

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