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 106

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

Science Needs for Microbial Forensics: Developing Initial International Research Priorities (2014)

Microbial forensics has been defined as "a scientific discipline dedicated to analyzing evidence from a bioterrorism act, biocrime, or inadvertent microorganism or toxin release for attribution purposes," -- where attribution means determining "who did it." This emerging discipline seeks to offer investigators the tools and techniques to support efforts for attribution in the event of a suspicious release of a biological agent. But microbia... More >>

Report in Brief

Convergence: Facilitating Transdisciplinary Integration of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Beyond (2014)

New biofuels, 3-D printing of human tissues, and more precise drug delivery systems are just a few examples of innovations that combine insights and approaches from the life and health sciences with those from the physical, mathematical, and computational sciences and engineering. This report focuses on the need for “convergence”—an approach to problem solving that integrates the knowledge, tools, and ways of thinking from multiple disciplines... More >>

Report in Brief