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Report Recommends Martian Moon Samples Be Designated Unrestricted Earth Return

January 18, 2019

Samples returned from the Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, should be designated unrestricted as the relative influx of Martian microbes from a Phobos/Deimos sample versus the natural influx of direct Mars-to-Earth transfer can be shown to be several orders of magnitude smaller, says a new report from the National Academies. The committee that wrote the report recommends that Phobos and Deimos should not currently be treated differently in their Planetary Protection requirements. The report also states that more research is needed before suggesting refinements in planetary protection requirements that might be needed to accommodate spacecraft missions to and samples returned from Phobos and Deimos. Read More

Brief Summary of Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing Now Available

The, 10 Jan 2019 11:00:00 EST

More than 500 researchers, policymakers, ethicists, patient group representatives, and others from around the world attended the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, held in Hong Kong last November. Participants discussed topics such as the potential benefits and risks of human genome editing, ethical and cultural perspectives, regulatory and policy considerations, and public engagement and outreach efforts. The summit was co-convened by the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong, the Royal Society of the United Kingdom, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine.Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing: Continuing the Global Discussion, a new publication from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, provides a brief summary of the summit presentations and discussions.

Biotechnology Holds Promise for Protecting Forest Health

January 8, 2019

Biotechnology has the potential to be a part of the solution in protecting forest trees against destructive pest and disease outbreaks — which are predicted to increase because of climate change and expanded global trade and travel — but considerable investment is needed to further basic understanding of tree genetics, the effectiveness of biotechnology in mitigating forest threats, and impacts on ecosystems, says a new report from the National Academies. Read More

2019 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education Awarded to Georgia Tech and Emory University Educators

January 8, 2019

The National Academy of Engineering announced today that the 2019 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education will be awarded to Wendy Newstetter, Joseph Le Doux, and Paul Benkeser from the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University "for fusing problem-driven engineering education with learning-science principles to create a pioneering program that develops leaders in biomedical engineering." The $500,000 annual award recognizes new methods and concepts in education aimed at developing engineering leaders. Read More

Call for Nominations for 2019 Communication Awards

January 8, 2019

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are now accepting nominations for the 2019 Communication Awards to recognize excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the public during 2018. Nominations must be submitted online no later than Feb. 8, 2019. The winners in four categories — book; film/radio/TV; newspaper/magazine; and online — will be honored in the fall at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Innovators of Coronary Angioplasty Win 2019 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize

January 3, 2019

The National Academy of Engineering and Ohio University announced today that the 2019 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize will be given to Julio Palmaz, Leonard Pinchuk, John Simpson, Richard Schatz, and Paul Yock for innovations leading to the widespread adoption of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), previously known as angioplasty with stent or coronary angioplasty. The $500,000 biennial prize, which recognizes a bioengineering achievement that significantly improves the human condition, cites PCI for "seminal contributions to coronary angioplasty, enabling minimally invasive treatment of advanced coronary artery disease." Read More

New Investments Are Needed to Sustain NASA's Instrumentation and Facilities for Future Extraterrestrial Sample Analyses, Says New Report

December 20, 2018

If NASA does not invest additional funds into the replacement of current instrumentation and development of new technologies, technical staff support, and training for the next generation of analysts, current capabilities cannot be sustained, and the full scientific impact afforded by returned samples might not be realized, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read More

Research Campaign to Advance Understanding of Gulf of Mexico Loop Current Moves Forward By Awarding $10.3 Million in Initial Grants

December 19, 2018

Following recommendations from a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report released earlier this year, the National Academies' Gulf Research Program (GRP) is developing a long-term research campaign to improve understanding and prediction of the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current System. In support of this effort, the GRP today announced $10.3 million in grant awards for eight new projects to conduct studies and collect data and observations that will inform the planning and launching of the long-term research campaign. Read More

Minority Serving Colleges and Universities Could Be Greater Resource for Meeting U.S. STEM Workforce Needs

December 13, 2018

Higher education leaders, policymakers, and the private sector should take a range of actions to strengthen STEM programs and degree attainment in the nation's Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. MSIs are an underutilized resource for producing talent to fulfill the needs of the current and future U.S. STEM workforce, the report says. It identifies strategies to support the long-term success of MSI students in STEM fields. Read More

To Benefit From its Investments in Fusion Energy, U.S. Should Remain in ITER and Initiate a National Program of Burning Plasma Research and Technology

December 13, 2018

Along with participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project – a large, international burning plasma experiment – the U.S. Department of Energy should start a national program of accompanying research and technology to build a compact pilot plant that produces electricity from fusion at the lowest possible capital cost, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report provides a strategic plan to guide implementation of the main recommendations. Read More

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