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.

Search all reports

To search for an exact phrase, use quotation marks (i.e., “Earth and life”)
Showing results 1 - 5 of 206

Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance (2017)

Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organism's genetic material. Recent scientific advances have made genome editing more efficient, precise, and flexible than ever before. These advances have spurred an explosion of interest from around the globe in the possible ways in which genome editing can improve human health. The speed at which these technologies are being developed and applied has led man... More >>

Report in Brief

Using 21st Century Science to Improve Risk-Related Evaluations (2017)

The availability of tools to assess human health risks from chemical exposures have increased rapidly in the 21st century. For example, new personal sensors and sampling techniques offer unparalleled opportunities to characterize individual exposures, new in vitro assays can now evaluate a number of cellular processes and responses, and -omics technologies have advanced molecular epidemiology, which focuses on underlying biology rather tha... More >>

Report in Brief

Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review, 2016 (2016)

Sixteen years into the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program, several project components are completed or nearing completion and are beginning to yield measurable results, especially in terms of creating hydrologic conditions increasingly similar to pre-drainage flows. This sixth biennial review of the $16.4 billion CERP project finds that, although measurable progress is being made, there is insufficient attention on radically changin... More >>

Report in Brief

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