Life Sciences: Expert Reports

The division produces 60-70 reports per year. These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review. The experts who volunteer their time participating on study committees are vetted to make sure that the committee has the range of expertise needed to address the task, that they have a balance of perspectives, and to identify and eliminate members with conflicts of interest. All reports undergo a rigorous, independent peer review to assure that the statement of task has been addressed, that conclusions are adequately supported, and that all important issues raised by the reviewers are addressed. Thus, while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 199

Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Fifth Biennial Review, 2014 (2014)

Despite exceptional project planning accomplishments, over the past two years progress toward restoring the Everglades has been slowed by frustrating financial and procedural constraints. The Central Everglades Planning Project is an impressive strategy to accelerate Everglades restoration and avert further degradation by increasing water flow to the ecosystem. However, timely authorization, funding, and creative policy and implementatio... More >>

Report in Brief

Science Needs for Microbial Forensics: Developing Initial International Research Priorities (2014)

Microbial forensics has been defined as "a scientific discipline dedicated to analyzing evidence from a bioterrorism act, biocrime, or inadvertent microorganism or toxin release for attribution purposes," -- where attribution means determining "who did it." This emerging discipline seeks to offer investigators the tools and techniques to support efforts for attribution in the event of a suspicious release of a biological agent. But microbia... More >>

Report in Brief

Convergence: Facilitating Transdisciplinary Integration of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Beyond (2014)

New biofuels, 3-D printing of human tissues, and more precise drug delivery systems are just a few examples of innovations that combine insights and approaches from the life and health sciences with those from the physical, mathematical, and computational sciences and engineering. This report focuses on the need for “convergence”—an approach to problem solving that integrates the knowledge, tools, and ways of thinking from multiple disciplines... More >>

Report in Brief

Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security: A Framework for Addressing Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues (2014)

This report is a study on the ethical, legal, and societal issues relating to the research on, development of, and use of rapidly changing technologies with low barriers of entry that have potential military application, such as information technologies, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology. The report also considers the ethical issues associated with robotics and autonomous systems, prosthetics and human enhancement, and cyber weapons. Thes... More >>

An Ecosystem Services Approach to Assessing the Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico (2013)

As the Gulf of Mexico recovers from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural resource managers face the challenge of fully understanding the impacts of the spill and setting priorities for restoration work. The full value of losses resulting from the spill cannot be captured, however, without consideration of changes in ecosystem services--the benefits delivered to society through natural processes. The use of an ecosystem services approach t... More >>

Report in Brief