Consensus 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 45

Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda (2018)

To achieve goals for climate and economic growth, "negative emissions technologies" (NETs) that remove and sequester carbon dioxide from the air will need to play a significant role in mitigating climate change. Unlike carbon capture and storage technologies that remove carbon dioxide emissions directly from large point sources such as coal power plants, NETs remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or enhance natural carbon sinks.... More >>

Report in Brief

Gaseous Carbon Waste Streams Utilization: Status and Research Needs (2018)

In the quest to mitigate the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere, researchers and policymakers have increasingly turned their attention to techniques for capturing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, either from the locations where they are emitted or directly from the atmosphere. Once captured, these gases can be stored or put to use. While both carbon storage and carbon utilization have costs, utilization offer... More >>

Report in Brief

Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology (2018)

The age of synthetic biology has brought with it opportunities to transform approaches to treating disease, manufacturing chemicals, producing fuels, remediating contaminants, and numerous other applications with benefits to humankind. Some synthetic biology capabilities, however, have dual use potential -- that is, they are capabilities that can be used for beneficial purposes but could be misdirected to cause harm to humans, animals, plants... More >>

Report in Brief

Reducing the Threat of Improvised Explosive Device Attacks by Restricting Access to Explosive Precursor Chemicals (2017)

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are a type of unconventional explosive weapon that can be deployed in a variety of ways, and can cause loss of life, injury, and property damage in both military and civilian environments. Terrorists, violent extremists, and criminals often choose IEDs because the ingredients, components, and instructions required to make IEDs are highly accessible. In many cases, precursor chemicals enable this criminal use o... More >>

Report in Brief

A Proposed Framework for Identifying Potential Biodefense Vulnerabilities Posed by Synthetic Biology: Interim Report (2017)

Synthetic biology and related biotechnologies hold great promise for addressing challenges in human health, agriculture, and other realms. At the same time, synthetic biology raises concerns about possible malicious uses that might threaten human health or national security. This interim report is the first phase of a study by the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine to assess potential vulnerabilities. The report proposes ... More >>