News from the National Academies en-us News from the National Academies Clinical Investigations of Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques Are 'Ethically Permissible' Conducting clinical investigations of mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRT) in humans is ethically permissible as long as significant conditions are met, says a new Academies report. One of those conditions, among many laid out in the report, is that initial MRT clinical investigations should be limited to women who are at risk of transmitting a severe mitochondrial genetic disease that could lead to a child's early death or substantial impairment. Read More Feb. 3, 2016 Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors Efforts to convert civilian research reactors from weapon-grade highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuels are taking significantly longer than anticipated, says a congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report calls for the federal government to take immediate steps to convert civilian research reactors currently using weapon-grade HEU fuel to a lower-enriched HEU fuel while awaiting the qualification of new LEU fuel. Additionally, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy should develop a long-term strategy to evaluate future civilian needs for neutrons to meet U.S. science and technology objectives and how these could best be provided by research reactors and other sources. Read More
Jan. 28, 2016
Alan Alda to Receive Public Welfare Medal, Academy's Most Prestigious Award The National Academy of Sciences is presenting its 2016 Public Welfare Medal to actor, director, writer, and science communicator Alan Alda in recognition of his "extraordinary application of the skills honed as an actor to communicating science on television and stage, and by teaching scientists innovative techniques that allow them to tell their stories to the public." The medal is the Academy's most prestigious award, established in 1914 and presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. Read More
Jan. 27, 2016
Increase in the Number of Children Who Receive Federal Disability Benefits for Speech and Language Disorders Similar to Trends in the General Population The increase in the number of children from low-income families who are receiving federal disability benefits for speech and language disorders over the past decade parallels the rise in the prevalence of these disorders among all U.S. children, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report's findings underscore the long-term and profound impact of severe speech and language disorders on children, as well as the degree to which children with such disorders can be expected to be a "significant presence" in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Read More
Jan. 26, 2016
New Report Finds Near-Term Update to Social Cost of Carbon Unwarranted There would not be sufficient benefit to updating estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC) within a year based only on the revision of a specific parameter in the existing framework used by the government's interagency group to measure the SCC, says a new interim report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The committee that is conducting the study and wrote the report considered whether a near-term change is warranted on the basis of updating the probability distribution for equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) -- a parameter that translates carbon dioxide emissions to global temperature change -- and that was updated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its most recent Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Because ECS is only one input to the framework used to estimate the SCC, updating the ECS alone may not significantly improve the estimates.
Jan. 26, 2016
Honoring Outstanding Achievement in Science Since 1886, the National Academy of Sciences has honored outstanding scientific achievement through its awards program. NAS announced the 2016 winners of various awards this month.  Winners in Neuroscience and Psychological and Cognitive SciencesWinners in Physical, Earth, and Space Sciences Winners in Biological, Medical, and Agricultural Sciences
Jan. 21, 2016
K-12 Science Teachers Need Sustained Professional Learning Opportunities to Teach New Science Standards, Report Says As researchers' and teachers' understanding of how best to learn and teach science evolves and curricula are redesigned, many teachers are left without the experience needed to enhance the science and engineering courses they teach, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This issue is particularly pronounced in elementary schools and in schools that serve a high percentage of low-income students. The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report found a lack of coherent learning opportunities for science teachers across their careers and recommended changes to current systems for supporting teachers' professional development inside and outside the classroom. Read More
Jan. 20, 2016
Examining Barriers and Opportunities for STEM Degrees A new Academies report outlines the barriers faced by two- and four-year undergraduates who intend to major in STEM disciplines and opportunities for overcoming these barriers. The report provides research-based guidance to inform policies and programs that aim to attract and retain these students.
Jan. 14, 2016
Socio-economic Status in Medicare Payment Programs Recent health care payment reforms aim to better align Medicare payment strategies with the goal of improving the quality of care provided. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked the Academies to identify social risk factors that affect the health outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries and how to account for these factors in Medicare payment programs. The Academies' study will be conducted in phases and produce five consensus reports. The first report in this series, issued today, defines socio-economic position and identifies social factors -- such as race, health literacy, and limited English proficiency -- that have been shown to influence the health outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries.
Jan. 12, 2016
World's Largest Gathering of Transportation Professionals At least 12,000 people from more than 70 countries -- including policymakers, administrators, practitioners, and researchers from government, industry, and academia -- are expected to attend the Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting. The event is returning to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 10-14, and will involve more than 5,000 presentations at over 800 sessions and workshops covering all transportation modes. Approximately 75 sessions will address one or more of three hot topics: transformation technologies, resilience, and transportation and public health.
Jan. 8, 2015
New Report Finds No Significant Increase in Health Risks for 1960s Project SHAD Veterans Veterans who participated in a series of tests during the 1960s known as Project SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense) show no significant increase in adverse health outcomes, specific causes of death, or death rates compared with a similar group of veterans who were not involved in the tests, says a new report from a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The congressionally mandated report builds on a 2007 Institute of Medicine report, which also found no consistent, specific patterns of poorer health among SHAD veterans. In addition, although the 2007 report suggested an increased risk of death from heart disease for SHAD veterans, the committee that wrote the new report found no such increased risk after analyzing cause-of-death data from seven additional years of follow-up. Read More
Jan. 8, 2016
Study Co-Chairs Lead Panel on Science and the Law The co-chairs of the study committees that wrote the reports Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification, and the third edition of the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence will lead a panel discussion in New York City this week on science and the law at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, the largest gathering of law school faculty in the world. The studies were conducted by the Academies’ Committee on Science, Technology, and Law.
Jan. 7, 2016
Review of Seven NASA Evidence Reports NASA asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent reviews of more than 30 publicly available evidence reports on human health risks for long-duration and exploration space flight. A new letter report from the Academies examines seven evidence reports on the risk of impaired performance due to reduced muscle mass, strength, and endurance; diminished physical performance due to reduced aerobic activity; orthostatic intolerance during re-exposure to gravity; injury and compromised performance due to extravehicular activity operations; gradual decrease in performance quality and quantity and crew illness due to an inadequate food system; and inadequate nutrition. This report -- the third in a series of five -- examines the quality of evidence, analysis, and overall construction of each evidence report, identifies existing gaps in content, and provides suggestions for additional sources of expert input. The NASA evidence reports are available to download here.
Jan. 7, 2016
Call for Nominations for 2016 Communication Awards The Keck Futures Initiative -- a program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine -- is accepting nominations for the 2016 Communication Awards to recognize excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the public during 2015. A $20,000 prize is awarded in each of the following categories: book; film, radio, or TV; magazine or newspaper; and online.Nominations must be submitted online no later than Feb. 8. The winners will be honored in the fall at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. For information on eligibility, submission requirements, and nomination procedures, visit
Jan. 6, 2016
Telecommunications Pioneer and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Educators Win Engineering's Highest Honors for 2016 This year's highest honors in the engineering profession, presented by the National Academy of Engineering, recognize Andrew J. Viterbi "for development of the Viterbi algorithm, its transformational impact on digital wireless communications, and its significant applications in speech recognition and synthesis and in bioinformatics," and Worcester Polytechnic Institute educators Diran Apelian, Arthur C. Heinricher, Richard F. Vaz, and Kristin K. Wobbe "for a project-based engineering curriculum developing leadership, innovative problem-solving, interdisciplinary collaboration, and global competencies." Read More
Jan. 6, 2016
Members to Receive National Medals of Science, Technology The White House announced yesterday the latest recipients of the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation -- the nation's highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology. The awardees, almost all of whom are NAS, NAE, and NAM members, will receive their medals at a White House ceremony in early 2016.The recipients and their affiliations are: National Medal of ScienceArmand Paul Alivisatos, University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (NAS)Michael Artin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (NAS)Albert Bandura, Stanford University (NAM)Stanley Falkow, Stanford University School of Medicine (NAS/NAM)Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NAE)Rakesh K. Jain, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (NAS/NAE/NAM)Mary-Claire King, University of Washington (NAS/NAM)Simon Levin, Princeton University (NAS)Geraldine Richmond, University of Oregon (NAS)National Medal of Technology and InnovationJoseph DeSimone, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Carbon3D (NAS/NAE/NAM)Robert Fischell, University of Maryland, College Park (NAE)Arthur Gossard, University of California, Santa Barbara (NAS/NAE)Nancy Ho, Green Tech America Inc. and Purdue UniversityChenming Hu, University of California, Berkeley (NAE)Mark Humayun, University of Southern California (NAE/NAM)Cato T. Laurencin, University of Connecticut (NAE/NAM)Jonathan Rothberg, 4catalyzer Corporation and Yale School of Medicine (NAE)
Dec. 23, 2015
Stormwater and Graywater Offer Alternative Water Sources, But Guidelines Needed on Their Safe Use In the face of drought and major water shortages, the U.S. is increasingly turning to alternative water sources like stormwater and graywater, but guidelines and research on their risk to public health and the environment are needed to support decisions for safe use, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Graywater and stormwater could significantly supplement traditional potable water supplies using existing technology to capture and treat the waters, but there is currently limited information on the costs, benefits, risks, and regulation of such projects, the report concludes. Additional research and changes in infrastructure will be necessary to take full advantage of the potential of graywater and stormwater. Read More
Dec. 16, 2015
New Report Calls for More Consistent Policies and Regulations for Mobile App Transportation and Traditional Taxi Services Innovative transportation services such as car sharing, bike sharing, and transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft are changing mobility for millions of people, yet regulation of these services often varies greatly across geographic areas and industry segments. Policymakers and regulators should formulate consistent policies that encourage competition among new and traditional transportation services -- such as taxis -- in order to improve mobility, safety, and sustainability, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read More | Watch the Public Briefing
Dec. 11, 2015
Report Offers FEMA Guidance for Analyzing Options for Increasing the Affordability of Flood Insurance A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies an approach for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to evaluate policy options for making premiums through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) more affordable for those who have limited ability to pay. Microsimulation is a modeling approach that is well-suited to estimating premiums and future flood damage claims at the individual policyholder level. Read More
Dec. 11, 2015
Designing an Epidemiologic Study of Neurologic Disorders in Gulf War Vets The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conduct a study to respond to Public Law 110-389 to determine the incidence, prevalence, and risk of developing multiple sclerosis and other neurologic diseases as a result of service in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf and post 9/11 Global Operations theaters. The Academies committee convened to carry out the study concluded in a new report that while technically feasible, the committee would not continue with the next steps of designing and implementing a study of the neurologic diseases of concern. The primary reason for its conclusion was the restriction to using only existing VA data for its work. Furthermore, VA and numerous other researchers have already published results on the outcomes of concern using VA data linked to other data sources, and therefore, it is unlikely that the committee would find different results from those well-designed studies that already have been published and scrutinized.
Dec. 11, 2015
Study on Human Gene Editing Begins; First Data-Gathering Meeting Feb. 11-12, 2016 Following the Dec. 1-3 International Summit on Human Gene Editing, the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine are now moving forward with the second component of the Academies' Human Gene Editing Initiative: a comprehensive study of the scientific underpinnings of human gene-editing technologies, their potential use in biomedical research and medicine -- including human germline editing -- and the clinical, ethical, legal, and social implications of their use. Read More
Dec. 8, 2015
Federal Regulations Should Be Strengthened to Prepare for Potential Spills of Diluted Bitumen, Which Pose Unique Environmental Concerns The U.S. Department of Transportation needs to modify its regulations and planning in order to strengthen preparedness for accidental spills of diluted bitumen from pipelines, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Diluted bitumen, a type of crude oil made from bitumen extracted from tar sands, has properties that warrant special preparations to limit environmental damage in the event of a spill, said the committee that conducted the study and wrote the report. Read More
Dec. 8, 2015
Nursing Community on Path to Transformation Since 2010 Report Since the 2010 Institute of Medicine report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health was issued, significant progress has been made related to many of the report’s recommendations, which were geared toward helping nurses meet the heightened demand for health care and improving the nation’s increasingly complex health system, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. However, continued progress will require greater focus and effort in certain areas, including removing scope-of-practice barriers, strengthening pathways to higher education, increasing diversity in the workforce, building a broader coalition to expand nurses’ roles in health professions and leadership, and improving the collection of workforce-related data. Read More
Dec. 4, 2015
Committee Issues Statement on Human Gene Editing The organizing committee for the International Summit on Human Gene Editing has issued a statement on human gene-editing research and its potential applications, including uses that could alter the human germline. Read the statement, as well as a response from the presidents of summit co-hosts, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Medicine, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society.
Dec. 3, 2015
New Report Evaluates Landscape Conservation Cooperatives Because fish, wildlife, habitats, and cultural resources extend beyond political boundaries, there is a national need to develop resource management strategies across jurisdictions and sectors, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), initiated by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2009 and coordinated by the department’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), were created to address this national need and can point to many early accomplishments. Ultimately, the long-term success of this effort will depend on developing ways to measure and demonstrate benefits to its conservation partners and the nation. Read More
Dec. 2, 2015
WIC Program Usage Reviewed in New Interim Report Women and children who participate in the WIC program have low or inadequate intakes of several key nutrients that could be addressed with changes to the program's food packages, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report is the first in a two-phase study that provides a series of findings and conclusions and establishes a set of criteria and a framework that will guide the second phase of the study in which changes to the WIC food packages will be considered. The final report will also build upon the 2006 Institute of Medicine report WIC Food Packages: A Time for Change.
Nov. 20, 2015
Report Offers NASA Framework for Prioritizing Earth Observations A new Academies report offers NASA a framework for prioritizing satellite observations and measurements of Earth based on their scientific value. NASA is operating in a constrained budgetary environment that necessitates making difficult choices among competing priorities for investment. The framework provides a partially quantitative and transparent approach to rating measurements’ relative importance.
Oct. 26, 2015
NAM Elects 70 New Members, 10 International Members The National Academy of Medicine today announced the names of 70 new members and 10 international members during its 45th annual meeting. Election to the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Annual Meeting Webcast | Agenda
Oct. 19, 2015
NAM Presents Awards for Outstanding Achievement, Names Fellows The National Academy of Medicine today presented the Gustav O. Lienhard Award to Robert L. Brent, distinguished professor and Louis and Bess Stein Professor of Pediatrics, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Philadelphia, for his fundamental research on environmental risk factors for birth defects and for the compassionate counseling he has provided to women and families about these risks. Additionally, NAM awarded the 2015 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health to Kay Jamison -- Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders and a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore -- and Kenneth Kendler, Rachel Brown Banks Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and director of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. This was the first time two separate nominees are receiving the award. The Academy also announced five health professionals who were selected for the class of 2015 NAM Anniversary Fellows Lienhard News Release | Sarnat News Release | Fellows Program News Release | Annual Meeting Webcast | Agenda
Oct. 19, 2015
NAM Honors Members for Outstanding Service The National Academy of Medicine honored members Alan Leshner, chief executive officer emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C.; Jonathan M. Samet, distinguished professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair, department of preventive medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and Susan C. Scrimshaw, president, The Sage Colleges, Troy, N.Y., for their outstanding service. The three received medals during the NAM’s anniversary gala on Oct. 18 in Washington, D.C. News Release | Annual Meeting Webcast | Agenda
Oct. 19, 2015
Annual Meeting of National Academy of Medicine on Oct. 19 The 2015 NAM Annual Meeting will feature a daylong scientific program exploring the biology of aging; its public health and social impacts; and exciting innovations that could catalyze progress in extending the lifespan and foster healthy aging. Watch a live webcast beginning at 8 a.m. EDT on Oct. 19In addition, NAM President Victor J. Dzau will welcome the newest class of Academy members and present the 2015 Lienhard and Sarnat awards. This is the inaugural annual meeting as the National Academy of Medicine and the 45th year since the establishment of the Institute of Medicine.
Oct. 16, 2015
Design Competitions Needed to Maintain Capable Workforce and Nation's Nuclear Deterrent Preserving the nation's nuclear weapon design skills is essential for sustaining a credible nuclear deterrent, understanding the status and direction of foreign nuclear weapons programs, and determining the best solutions to problems that arise during stockpile surveillance and maintenance. In the absence of nuclear explosion testing, the National Nuclear Security Administration should develop a series of design competitions that integrate the full end-to-end design process from novel design conception through production and non-nuclear testing of an engineered prototype, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report emphasizes that these competitions should be done with the clear understanding that the prototypes would not enter the nation's nuclear weapon stockpile.
Oct. 15, 2015
In Memoriam: Robert M. White (1923 - 2015) Robert M. White – a member of the National Academy of Engineering and its president from 1983 to 1995 – has died at age 92. A meteorologist and alumnus of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, White served as the first administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 1970 to 1977. Previously, he had led the U.S. Weather Bureau from 1963 to 1965, Environmental Science Services Administration from 1965 to 1970, and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research from 1980 to 1983. He also was the first chairman of the World Climate Conference in 1978.The recipient of numerous prestigious awards, such as the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and the Vannevar Bush Award, and honorary degrees, White more recently directed the Washington Advisory Group, a team of experienced administrators who advise on environment, energy, and climate change and the development and management of organizations and research programs. White was honored in 2014 by Congressman Frank R. Wolf for "groundbreaking contributions to the federal coordination of meteorology in the United States." Oct. 14, 2015 NAS Member Wins Nobel in Economics The 2015 Nobel in economic sciences was awarded to NAS member Angus Deaton "for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare." Oct. 12, 2015 Federal Truck Size and Weight Study Falls Short of Congressional Requirements, Says New Report Although a U.S. Department of Transportation report on federal truck size and weight limits acknowledges gaps in addressing its legislative charge, a more comprehensive and useful response would have been possible, says a new letter report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The DOT's Comprehensive Truck Size & Weight Limits Study lacks a consistent and complete quantitative summary of the alternative configuration scenarios, and major categories of costs -- such as expected bridge structural costs, frequency of crashes, and infrastructure costs on certain roads -- are not estimated. Oct. 8, 2015 New Roundtable to Examine Unconventional Hydrocarbon Development The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced today the launch of a new roundtable that will examine issues related to the development of U.S. stores of unconventional hydrocarbon resources such as shale oil and gas. Learn more about the roundtable and sign up to receive updates about its activities at Oct. 8, 2015 Members Share 2015 Nobel in Chemistry Paul Modrich, Aziz Sancar, and Tomas Lindahl have won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for mechanistic studies of DNA repair." Modrich is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine, and Sancar is an NAS member. Oct. 7, 2015 NAS Member and Foreign Associate Receive Nobel Prize in Medicine The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was divided, one half jointly to NAS member William C. Campbell and foreign associate Satoshi Ōmura "for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites" and the other half to Youyou Tu "for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against malaria." Oct. 5, 2015 National Academy of Engineering Annual Meeting Begins Oct. 2 – NAE members will gather on Oct. 4-5 in Washington, D.C., to congratulate new members and welcome distinguished speakers who will discuss this year’s annual meeting theme, the Grand Challenges for Engineering. Agenda | Learn More Oct. 2, 2015 Airport X-ray Screening Systems Comply With Health and Safety Standards for Radiation Exposure Machines that use advanced X-ray imaging technology to screen airport passengers comply with radiation exposure limits set by the American National Standards Institute/Health Physics Society, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report also finds that the machines adhere to the recommended safety mechanisms described in the ANSI/HPS standards to prevent overexposure to radiation in the event of a mechanical failure or deliberate tampering. Read More Sept. 29, 2015 New Report Recommends Streamlining, Harmonizing Regulations for Federally Funded Research Continuing expansion of federal research regulations and requirements is diminishing the effectiveness of the U.S. scientific enterprise by directing investigators' time away from research and toward administrative matters, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report identifies specific actions Congress, the White House, federal agencies, and research institutions should take to reduce the regulatory burden. Read More Sept. 22, 2015 Urgent Change Needed to Improve Diagnosis Most people will experience at least one diagnostic error -- an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis -- in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report found that although getting the right diagnosis is a key aspect of health care, efforts to improve diagnosis and reduce diagnostic errors have been quite limited. Sept. 22, 2015 Report Finds Immigrants Come to Resemble Native-Born Americans Over Time, But Integration Not Always Linked to Greater Well-Being for Immigrants As immigrants and their descendants become integrated into U.S. society, many aspects of their lives improve, including measurable outcomes such as educational attainment, occupational distribution, income, and English language ability, but their well-being declines in the areas of health, crime, and family patterns, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. At the same time, several factors impede immigrants' integration into society, such as their legal status, racial disparities in socio-economic outcomes, and low naturalization rates. Sept. 21, 2015 New Report Examines Implications of Growing Gap in Life Span by Income for Entitlement Programs As the gap in life expectancy between the highest and lowest earners in the U.S. has widened over time, high earners have disproportionately received larger lifetime benefits from government programs such as Social Security and Medicare, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report looked at life expectancy patterns among a group of Americans born in 1930 and compared those with projections for a group born in 1960. Sept. 17, 2015 Chinese Academy of Sciences and Royal Society to Join in Convening International Summit on Human Gene Editing; Organizing Committee Named The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society (the science academy of the U.K.) are joining the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine in co-hosting an international summit on human gene editing to be held Dec. 1-3 in Washington, D.C. An organizing committee has been appointed to develop an agenda for the summit, which will bring together experts from a variety of disciplines to discuss scientific, medical, ethical, and governance issues associated with advances in human gene-editing research. Read More Sept. 14, 2015 Chad Mirkin Awarded First NAS Prize in Convergence Research Chad A. Mirkin is the inaugural recipient of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research, the National Academy of Sciences announced today. A professor at Northwestern University and the director of its International Institute for Nanotechnology, Mirkin is being awarded the $400,000 prize "for impressively integrating chemistry, materials science, molecular biology, and biomedicine in the development of spherical nucleic acids that are widely used in the rapid and automated diagnosis of infectious diseases and many other human diseases -- including cancers and cardiac disease -- and in the detection of drug-resistant bacteria." Sept. 10, 2015 Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World Wins Best Book Award From Academies; Particle Fever, Your Inner Fish, Detroit News, Reuters Also Take Prizes The recipients of the 2015 Communication Awards were announced today by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Supported by the W.M. Keck Foundation since 2003 as part of the Keck Futures Initiative, these prestigious awards — each of which includes a $20,000 prize — recognize excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the general public. The winners will be honored during a ceremony on Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C. Read More Sept. 9, 2015 Rise in Federal Disability Benefits for Children With Mental Disorders Consistent With General Population The percentage of poor children who received federal disability benefits for at least one of 10 major mental disorders increased from 1.88 percent in 2004 to 2.09 percent in 2013, and such growth is consistent with and proportionate to trends in the prevalence of diagnosed mental disorders among children in the general U.S. population, says a new report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The increase also is not unexpected. This is because a sizeable number of low-income children with disabling mental disorders do not receive federal benefits, yet are eligible for such benefits. Read More Sept. 9, 2015 New Report Recommends Priorities for Next Decade of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research An initiative to better understand how melting ice sheets will contribute to sea-level rise, efforts to decode the genomes of organisms to understand evolutionary adaptations, and a next-generation cosmic microwave background experiment to address fundamental questions about the origin of the universe are the top research goals for Antarctic and Southern Ocean science recommended in a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report, which offers a strategic vision to guide the U.S. Antarctic Program at the National Science Foundation over the next 10 years, also recommends that NSF continue to support a core program of investigator-driven research across a broad range of disciplines and strengthen logistic and infrastructure support for the priority research areas. Read More Members of the committee will present the report's findings and take questions during a one-hour webinar beginning at 1 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 11. Please register at here. Aug. 11, 2015 Dr. Robert L. Ullrich Appointed as Chief of Research at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima, Japan The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Robert L. Ullrich as Chief of Research at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Hiroshima, Japan. He succeeds Dr. Roy Shore, who retired from RERF in June 2015.Dr. Ullrich joined RERF as its Associate Chief of Research in November 2013. Prior to joining RERF, Dr. Ullrich was the John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Cancer Biology, Director of the Sealy Center for Cancer Biology, and Interim Director of the Cancer Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He is recognized internationally for his groundbreaking research on mechanisms and risk of cancer following exposure to ionizing radiation and for his scientific leadership of laboratory, academic, and medical programs. Dr. Ullrich received the Radiation Research Society’s Failla Award in 2012 for outstanding research contributions in radiation science. Read more Aug. 10, 2015 Community-Based Flood Insurance Offers Potential Benefits, Faces Many Challenges Community-based flood insurance -- a single insurance policy that in theory would cover an entire community -- may create new opportunities to reduce flood losses and enhance the likelihood of communities paying more attention to flood risk mitigation, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This option for providing flood insurance, however, would not provide the sole solution for all of the nation's flood insurance challenges. The report discusses the pros and cons of this policy option, identifies challenges that need to be addressed if it were to be implemented, and describes scenarios, that depending on the underlying circumstances in a community, can help guide decisions about when community-based flood insurance would be beneficial over individual policies. Read More July 24, 2015 New Report Presents Framework to Establish Standards for Psychosocial Interventions Used to Treat Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders A considerable gap exists in mental health and substance abuse treatments known as psychosocial interventions between what is known to be effective and those interventions that are commonly delivered, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Mental health and substance use disorders are a serious public health problem, affect approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population, and often occur together. The report presents a framework for implementing evidence-based psychosocial interventions, with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for individuals suffering from mental health and substance use disorders. Read More July 14, 2015 Koshland Science Museum's Extreme Event Game Wins Gold Medal The Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences has been awarded a gold medal by the Serious Games Association for Extreme Event, a role-playing game developed in collaboration with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Resilient America project. The awards acknowledge outstanding games that provide superior interaction and training opportunities. Read More July 14, 2015