Expert 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 108

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

Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects (2016)

Since their introduction in the mid-1990s, genetically engineered (GE) crops have been the topic of much debate. This report reviews evidence accumulated from experiences on the most widely grown GE crops to date: herbicide-resistant and insect-resistant varieties of maize, soybean, and cotton. While recognizing the inherent difficulty of detecting subtle or long-term effects on health or the environment, the study committee found n... 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

Industrialization of Biology: A Roadmap to Accelerate the Advanced Manufacturing of Chemicals (2015)

A growing number of chemicals used in the manufacture of consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and other products are being produced using biological systems -- the so called "industrialization of biology." Taking advantage of advancing knowledge of synthetic biology, bio-based chemicals can be cheaper and more environmentally sustainable than those produced through traditional chemical synthesis. For some complex chemicals, like pharmaceuticals o... More >>

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