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

February 15, 2017

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

February 14, 2017

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

February 8, 2017

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

February 3, 2017

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.

Honoring Outstanding Achievement in Science

January 30, 2017

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

Applying Science, Technology, and Innovation to Development Challenges

January 27, 2017

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

Nearly 100 Conclusions on the Health Effects of Marijuana and Cannabis-Derived Products Presented in New Report

January 12, 2017

A new report from the National Academies offers one of the most comprehensive studies of recent research on the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products – such as marijuana and active chemical compounds known as cannabinoids – ranging from their therapeutic effects to their risks for causing certain cancers, diseases, mental health disorders, and injuries. The committee also proposed ways to expand and improve the quality of cannabis research efforts, enhance data collection efforts to support the advancement of research, and address the current barriers to cannabis research. Read more

New Report Examines Challenges Faced by the Federal Statistical System

January 12, 2017

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines the challenges faced by the federal statistical system, discusses the opportunities and risks of using government and private sector data sources, and outlines steps needed to lay the foundation for a new paradigm that would combine diverse data sources in a secure manner to enhance the collection and use of federal statistics.

Report Recommends New Framework for Estimating the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide

January 11, 2017

To estimate the social cost of carbon dioxide for use in regulatory impact analyses, the federal government should use a new framework that would strengthen the scientific basis, provide greater transparency, and improve characterization of the uncertainties of the estimates, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report also identifies a number of near- and longer-term improvements that should be made for calculating the social cost of carbon. Read More 

New Report Identifies Root Causes of Health Inequity in the U.S., Outlines Solutions for Communities to Advance Health Equity

January 11, 2017

The burdens of poor health and the benefits of good health and well-being are inequitably distributed in the U.S. due to factors that range from poverty and inadequate housing to structural racism and discrimination, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Community-driven interventions targeting these factors hold the greatest promise for promoting health equity -- the state in which everyone has the opportunity to attain full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or any other socially defined circumstance. Read More 

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