National Research News

U.S. DRIVE Partnership Makes Significant Technology Advancements for Light-Duty Vehicles; Lack of Infrastructure for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Remains a Challenge

The U.S. DRIVE Partnership -- a government-industry partnership that fosters the development of precompetitive and innovative technologies for clean and efficient light-duty vehicles -- has made significant progress in many technical areas including advanced combustion technologies, durability and cost of hydrogen fuel cells, and electric drive systems such as motors, power electronics, and batteries, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. However, high costs for essentially all the technologies under development and lack of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure for deployment of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles remain challenges. Read More

NAE Elects Treasurer and Four Councillors

The National Academy of Engineering has re-elected Martin B. Sherwin, retired vice president of W.R. Grace, to serve a four-year term as the NAE's treasurer. Re-elected to second terms as councillors are Frances S. Ligler, Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the joint department of biomedical engineering at the North Carolina State University College of Engineering and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and H. Vincent Poor, Michael Henry Strater University Professor at Princeton University. And newly elected councillors are Katharine G. Frase, retired vice president of education business development at International Business Machines Corporation, and Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. All terms begin July 1, 2017. Read More

Report Identifies Grand Challenges for Scientific Community to Better Prepare for Volcanic Eruptions

Despite broad understanding of volcanoes, our ability to predict the timing, duration, type, size, and consequences of volcanic eruptions is limited, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. To improve eruption forecasting and warnings to save lives, the report identifies research priorities for better monitoring of volcanic eruptions and three grand challenges facing the volcano science community. Read More

Integrating Clinical Research Into Epidemic Response

Mobilization of a rapid and robust clinical research program to combat the next infectious disease epidemic will depend on strengthening capacity in low-income countries for response and research, engaging people living in affected communities, and conducting safety trials before an epidemic, says a new report from the National Academies. Read More

Integrating Clinical Research Into Epidemic Response

Mobilization of a rapid and robust clinical research program to combat the next infectious disease epidemic will depend on strengthening capacity in low-income countries for response and research, engaging people living in affected communities, and conducting safety trials before an epidemic, says a new report from the National Academies. Read More | Webinar at 11 a.m. EDT

The Kavli Foundation Gives $10.5 Million to the National Academy of Sciences to Establish Fred Kavli Endowment Fund; NAS Auditorium to Be Renamed in Kavli's Honor

The National Academy of Sciences announced today that it has received a $10.5 million gift from The Kavli Foundation to establish the Fred Kavli Endowment Fund, which honors the late physicist, entrepreneur, innovator, business leader, and philanthropist. To recognize Kavli's generous and unwavering support for science, the auditorium of the historic National Academy of Sciences building will be renamed the Fred Kavli Auditorium. A portrait of Fred Kavli and a commemorative plaque will be unveiled at the NAS annual meeting, which will take place April 29-May 2.

Actions Needed to Protect Integrity in Research

Stakeholders in the scientific research enterprise -- researchers, institutions, publishers, funders, scientific societies, and federal agencies -- should improve their practices and policies to respond to threats to the integrity of research, says a new report from the National Academies. Actions are needed to ensure the availability of data necessary for reproducing research, clarify authorship standards, protect whistleblowers, and make sure that negative as well as positive research findings are reported, among other steps. The report also recommends the establishment of an independent, nonprofit advisory board to support ongoing efforts to strengthen research integrity. Read More | Watch the Webcast

U.S. Could Be Rid of Hepatitis B and C as Public Health Problems

A new report from the National Academies presents a strategy to eliminate hepatitis B and C as serious public health problems -- diseases that kill more than 20,000 people every year in the U.S. -- and prevent nearly 90,000 deaths by 2030. Read More

New Report Finds EPA's Controlled Human Exposure Studies of Air Pollution Are Warranted

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency carries out experiments in which volunteer participants agree to be intentionally exposed by inhalation to specific pollutants at restricted concentrations over short periods to obtain important information about the effects of outdoor air pollution on human health. A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine finds these studies are warranted and recommends that they continue under two conditions: when they provide additional knowledge that informs policy decisions and regulation of pollutants that cannot be obtained by other means, and when it is reasonably predictable that the risks for study participants will not exceed biomarker or physiologic responses that are of short duration and reversible. Read More

New Guidebook for Educators Outlines Ways to Better Align Student Assessments With New Science Standards

A new book from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine outlines how educators can develop and adapt student assessments for the classroom that reflect the approach to learning and teaching science described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and similar standards, which stress the integration of knowledge of science with scientific and engineering practices.

Decision Framework for DOD Regarding Genetic Tests in Clinical Care

Advances in genetics and genomics are transforming medical practice, resulting in the dramatic growth of genetic testing, which includes testing for inherited cancer syndromes, predictive testing of newborns for evidence of treatable diseases, and prenatal testing to detect abnormalities in the genes or chromosomes of a fetus. Given the rapid pace in the development of genetic tests and new testing technologies – both laboratory developed tests and those marketed directly to the consumer – and the lack of federal regulation governing genetic tests, the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Health Affairs asked the National Academies to recommend a framework for DOD decision making regarding the use of genetic tests in clinical care. A new report lays out the decision framework.

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.

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