National Research News

G20 Science Academies Issue Statement on Global Health

At the Science20 Dialogue Forum held today at the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, a statement on improving global health was handed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel by representatives of the G20 science academies. The statement recommends actions to combat communicable and non-communicable diseases, which endanger individual well-being and threaten the global economy. It is intended to inform discussions during the G20 Summit, which will be held in July in Hamburg, Germany.

Vital Directions to Improve Nation's Health System

The National Academy of Medicine today released a new publication that provides a succinct blueprint to address challenges to Americans' health and health care that span beyond debates over insurance coverage. The paper is part of the NAM's Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Initiative, which conducted a comprehensive national health and health care assessment over the past 18 months. Written by the initiative's bipartisan steering committee, the publication presents a streamlined framework of eight policy directions, consisting of four priority actions and four essential infrastructure needs. Read More | Watch live webcast of launch event beginning at 2 p.m. EDT

New Report Outlines Research Agenda to Address Impact of Technology on Workforce

Federal agencies or other organizations responsible for sponsoring research or collecting data on technology and the workforce should establish a multidisciplinary research program that addresses unanswered questions related to the impact of changing technology on the nature of work and U.S. national economy, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read more

Two $30,000 Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grants Awarded

Two Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grants of $30,000 each have been awarded to attendees of the National Academy of Engineering's 2016 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. Amin Karbasi (Yale University) and Amit Surana (United Technologies Research Center) have received a Grainger Grant to "develop a unified approach for saliency detection in heterogeneous temporal data." The second Grainger Grant has been awarded to Marco Pavone (Stanford University) and Julian Rimoli (Georgia Institute of Technology) for research of "the development of tensegrity damping strategies for the exploration of low-gravity planetary bodies, e.g., asteroids and small moons."

New Review of the Draft Climate Science Special Report (CSSR)

The U.S. Global Change Research Program asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review a draft of the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) – a technical document intended to provide an updated, detailed analysis of how climate is changing across the U.S., and to serve as a technical input to the Fourth National Climate Assessment. A new National Academies report concludes that the draft CSSR is timely, accurate, and well-written, representing the breadth of available literature relating to the current state of the science.

The Evidence on Climate Change

Since issuing its first report on climate change in the 1980s, the National Academies have been on the forefront of ensuring that policymakers and the public have access to the best available science on the issue. For example, a joint publication released in 2014 by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society -- the national science academy of the U.K. -- explains the clear evidence that humans are causing the climate to change, mainly as a result of the burning of fossil fuels and increased concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Click here for other Academies reports on climate change

Federal Regulatory Agencies Need to Prepare for Greater Quantity and Range of Biotechnology Products

A profusion of biotechnology products is expected over the next five to 10 years, and the number and diversity of new products has the potential to overwhelm the U.S. regulatory system, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other agencies involved in regulating biotechnology products should increase their scientific capabilities, tools, and expertise in key areas of expected growth, said the committee that conducted the study and wrote the report. Read More | Opening Remarks at Public Briefing

President Trump Cites Report on Immigration

In President Trump’s address to Congress, he cited a National Academies report on the economic consequences of immigration. The report found that the long-term impact of immigration on the wages and employment of native-born workers overall is very small, and that any negative impacts are most likely to be found for prior immigrants or native-born high school dropouts. First-generation immigrants are more costly to governments than are the native-born, but the second generation are among the strongest fiscal and economic contributors in the U.S. The report concludes that immigration has an overall positive impact on long-run economic growth in the U.S. Another National Academies report found that immigrants and their descendants integrate into American society over time, for example, in the areas of educational attainment, occupations, and health.

Statement Regarding PLOS ONE Article on Academies' Study of Genetically Engineered Crops

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Committee on Genetically Engineered Crops: Past Experiences and Future Prospects authored an almost 600-page landmark report, released in May 2016. Read a statement issued by the Academies regarding a PLOS ONE article that discusses the report and conflict of interest.

Children and Youth Learning English Require Better Support for Academic Success; New Report Calls for Improvements to Instruction and Training for Their Care and Education Providers

Despite their potential, many English learners (ELs) -- who account for more than 9 percent of K-12 enrollment in the U.S. -- lag behind their English-speaking monolingual peers in educational achievement, in part because schools do not provide adequate instruction and social-emotional support to acquire English proficiency or access to academic subjects at the appropriate grade level, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Moreover, early care and education providers, educational administrators, and teachers are not given appropriate training to foster desired educational outcomes for children and youth learning English. Read More 

Assessment of VA's Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry

Inherent features of registries that rely on voluntary participation and self-reported information make them fundamentally unsuitable for determining whether emissions from military burn pits in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations caused health problems in service members who were exposed to them, says a new congressionally mandated National Academies report. While the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry provides a forum for collecting and recording information on those who choose to participate, a more rigorous and appropriate approach is needed, such as a well-designed epidemiologic study. The report also says data from the burn pit registry could be repurposed, including to alert health care providers about participants' concerns. Read More

Examining Undergraduate Research Experiences for STEM Students

The call for expanding undergraduates' access to research experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) raises questions about their use and potential to increase students' interest and persistence in these disciplines. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines the evidence on undergraduate research experiences (UREs) and recommends more well-designed research to gain a deeper understanding of how these experiences affect different students and to examine the aspects of UREs that are most beneficial. Read More

New Report Details Accomplishments of U.S. Global Change Research Program

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has made significant accomplishments to advance the science of global environmental change and improve the understanding of its impact on society through activities such as developing Earth-observing systems, improving Earth-system modeling capabilities, and advancing understanding of carbon-cycle processes, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Going forward, the program should continue to build its knowledge base for informing decision makers and the public about rising global challenges, the report recommends.

New Report Examines Role of Engineering Technology, Calls for Increased Awareness of Field of Study and Employment

While workers in the engineering technology (ET) field play an important role in supporting U.S. technical infrastructure and the country's capacity for innovation, there is little awareness of ET as a field of study or category of employment in the U.S., says a new report from the National Academy of Engineering. There are numerous similarities between traditional engineering and engineering technology. Though, in comparison, if engineers are viewed as being responsible for designing the nation's technological systems, engineering technicians and technologists are those who help build and keep those systems running. In 2014, there were nearly 94,000 four-year engineering degrees, nearly 18,000 four-year ET degrees, and more than 34,000 two-year ET degrees awarded in the U.S. Read More

With Stringent Oversight, Heritable Germline Editing Clinical Trials Could One Day Be Permitted for Serious Conditions; Non-Heritable Clinical Trials Should Be Limited to Treating or Preventing Disease or Disability at This Time

Clinical trials for genome editing of the human germline – adding, removing, or replacing DNA base pairs in gametes or early embryos – could be permitted in the future, but only for serious conditions under stringent oversight, says a new report from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. The report outlines several criteria that should be met before allowing germline editing clinical trials to go forward. Genome editing has already entered clinical trials for non-heritable applications, but should be allowed only for treating or preventing diseases or disabilities at this time. Read More

NAE Elects 84 Members and 22 Foreign Members

The National Academy of Engineering has elected 84 new members and 22 foreign members, announced NAE President C.D. (Dan) Mote Jr. today. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,283 and the number of foreign members to 249.Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. A list of the newly elected members and foreign members is available, with their primary affiliations at the time of election and a brief statement of their principal engineering accomplishments.

New Report Proposes Three New Steps in Selection Process for Dietary Guidelines of Americans Committee

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans underpin all federal nutrition policies and programs and have been in use for the past 30 years. Every five years a federal advisory committee suggests revisions to the guidelines. A new National Academies report recommends three new steps in the selection process for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, including employing a third party to review nominations for qualified candidates, selecting a provisional committee, and posting the provisional committee for public comment and reviewing biases and conflicts of interest on the committee. This is the first of two reports that reviews the processes used to develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Applying Science, Technology, and Innovation to Development Challenges

The U.S. Agency for International Development should speed its transformation into a global leader and catalyst in applying science, technology, and innovation to the challenges facing developing countries, says a new National Academies report. In doing so, it should draw on resources from across U.S. government agencies, developing countries, the public and private research enterprise, research universities in the U.S. and abroad, and other development agencies. Among USAID's top priorities should be scaling up successful interventions, strengthening host countries' capacity to apply science and technology to their own development, and expanding investments in science, technology, and innovation that engage and empower women. Read More

Honoring Outstanding Achievement in Science

Since 1886, the National Academy of Sciences has honored outstanding scientific achievement through its awards program. NAS will announce this month the 2017 winners of various awards. A schedule follows. Monday, Jan. 30: Public Welfare Medal Thursday, Jan. 26: Earth and Space Science Award Winners Wednesday, Jan. 25: Neuroscience, Psychology, and Criminology Award Winners Tuesday, Jan. 24: Physical Science and Engineering Award Winners Monday, Jan. 23: Biological, Medical, and Agricultural Sciences Award Winners

Honoring Outstanding Achievement in Science

Since 1886, the National Academy of Sciences has honored outstanding scientific achievement through its awards program. NAS will announce this month the 2017 winners of various awards. A schedule follows.Monday, Jan. 23: Biological, Medical, and Agricultural Sciences Award Winners Tuesday, Jan. 24: Physical Science and Engineering AwardsWednesday, Jan. 25: Neuroscience, Psychology, and Criminology AwardsThursday, Jan. 26: Earth and Space Science Awards

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