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 203

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

A Review of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (2015)

This report reviews the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives Network, which was initiated by the Department of the Interior and aims to address the widely recognized national need for a landscape approach to conservation. The Network includes 22 regional cooperatives tasked to build partnerships that facilitate collaborations across jurisdictional boundaries, develop shared priorities and common science needs, and create conservation strategie... More >>

Report in Brief

BioWatch PCR Assays: Building Confidence, Ensuring Reliability; Abbreviated Version (2015)

Biowatch is an air monitoring system deployed in jurisdictions around the country with the goal of detecting the presence of certain high risk pathogenic microorganisms as part of intelligence-gathering and biomonitoring activities that support public safety and health. This report examines standards for PCR assays appropriate for the BioWatch program, providing recommendations on general principles for a performance standard and validatio... More >>

Report in Brief

Enhancing the Value and Sustainability of Field Stations and Marine Laboratories in the 21st Century (2014)

Amid rapid environmental change, a strong understanding of the natural world is more important than ever. Field stations and marine laboratories place scientists on the front lines of our changing Earth, helping them gather the data needed to better understand shifting climate and ecosystems and make robust projections of future conditions. Field stations are a critical component of our scientific infrastructure that bring the basic tools o... More >>

Report in Brief

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