Consensus Reports

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.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 112

Microbiomes of the Built Environment: A Research Agenda for Indoor Microbiology, Human Health, and Buildings (2017)

People in developed countries spend the vast majority of their time indoors. That time is shared with a large and diverse community of microorganisms that find their way into homes, workplaces, schools, and other buildings. Research on indoor environments, microorganisms, and human health has been conducted for decades, but new molecular tools and collaborative efforts that bridge microbiology, engineering, architecture, and public health ar... More >>

Report in Brief

Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology (2017)

As the U.S. biotechnology economy grows rapidly, the scale, scope, and complexity of products is increasing. More types of organisms will likely be engineered, and the kinds of traits introduced with biotechnology will also increase. Future biotechnology products will range from familiar applications, such as modifying agricultural crops, to products that are entirely new –plants that can serve as sentinels of environmental contamination, fo... More >>

Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance (2017)

Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organism's genetic material. Recent scientific advances have made genome editing more efficient, precise, and flexible than ever before. These advances have spurred an explosion of interest from around the globe in the possible ways in which genome editing can improve human health. The speed at which these technologies are being developed and applied has led man... More >>

Report in Brief

Using 21st Century Science to Improve Risk-Related Evaluations (2017)

The availability of tools to assess human health risks from chemical exposures have increased rapidly in the 21st century. For example, new personal sensors and sampling techniques offer unparalleled opportunities to characterize individual exposures, new in vitro assays can now evaluate a number of cellular processes and responses, and -omics technologies have advanced molecular epidemiology, which focuses on underlying biology rather tha... More >>

Report in Brief

Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values (2016)

Gene drives are systems of biased inheritance that enhance the ability of a genetic element to pass from an organism to its offspring through sexual reproduction. A wide variety of gene drives occur in nature. Researchers have been studying these natural mechanisms throughout the 20th century but, until the advent of CRISPR/Cas91 for gene editing, have not been able to develop a gene drive. Since early 2015, laboratory scientists hav... More >>

Report in Brief