The Sounds of Science from the National Academies
Summary: This informative and entertaining bi-weekly series of audio podcasts puts the spotlight on the high-impact work of the National Academies. Focusing on a wide range of critical issues in science, engineering, and medicine, these short 10-minute episodes are a quick and easy way to tune in to the all the key findings and important recommendations made by the Academies. The National Academies consists of four organizations: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. The National Academies perform an unparalleled public service by bringing together committees of experts in all areas of scientific and technological endeavors. Our nation’s preeminent experts volunteer their time on committees addressing critical national issues and offering unbiased advice to the public and federal government.
According to the latest information from the National Research Council, one out of every four dogs in the western world is now obese. Like humans, dogs that are obese run a higher risk of developing health problems. This podcast provides pet owners with sound information to base their feeding decisions on.
Child care in the United States is changing - because society in general is changing. This podcast reviews the findings of four flagship reports from the National Research Council on early childhood development and the important of role child care providers.
The idea that life may exist elsewhere in the cosmos is exciting and exhilarating. However, the search for life in the cosmos begins with our understanding of life on Earth. This week's podcast looks at how we define life and what we need to do in order to better recognize, conserve, and study alien life that is encountered
More that 43 million U.S. residents under the age of 65 lacked health insurance for all of 2002 and millions more went uncovered for at least part of the year. This Podcast reviews the findings of 6 Institute of Medicine reports on uninsurance and the key principles for closing the coverage gap.
The fragmented information that consumers receive about the nutritional value and health risks associated with fish and shellfish can result in confusion or misperceptions about these food sources. This week's episode looks at the available research and provides listeners with tips and guidelines when choosing seafood.
Pollinators- insects, birds, bats, and other animals that carry pollen from the male to the female parts of flowers for plant reproduction- are an essential part of natural and agricultural ecosystems throughout North America. For example, most fruit, vegetable, and seed crops and some crops that provide fiber, drugs, and fuel depend on animals for pollination. This Podcast looks at the role they play in our economy and the steps we need to take to protect them.
The nation has made tremendous progress in reducing tobacco use during the past 40 years. Despite extensive knowledge about successful interventions, however, approximately one-quarter of American adults still smoke. Tobacco-related illnesses and death place a huge burden on our society.
The remarkable increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and youth in the United States over a relatively short timespan represents one of the defining public health challenges of the 21st century. The country is beginning to recognize childhood obesity as a major public health epidemic that will incur substantial costs to the nation. This report brief summarizes the recommendations and next steps made in the report.
This report is the second in a series of three evaluating underexploited African plant resources that could help broaden and secure Africa's food supply. The podcast describes the characteristics of several little-known indigenous African vegetables (including tubers and legumes) that have potential as food- and cash-crops but are typically overlooked by scientists and policymakers and in the world at large.
Although we can't see them, microbes are essential for every part of human life - indeed all life on Earth. The emerging field of metagenomics provides a new way of viewing the microbial world that will not only transform modern microbiology, but also may revolutionize understanding of the entire living world. This report briefs looks at the recommendations the National Research Council gave on how to shape this emerging field of study and manage the immense findings that it is sure to provide
The climate record for the past 100,000 years clearly indicates that the climate system has undergone periodic and often extreme shifts, sometimes in as little as a decade or less. The causes of abrupt climate changes have not been clearly established, but the triggering of events is likely to be the result of multiple natural processes.
Humans coexist with millions of harmless microorganisms, but emerging diseases, resistance to antibiotics, and the threat of bioterrorism are forcing scientists to look for new ways to confront the microbes that do pose a danger. This report identifies innovative approaches to the development of antimicrobial drugs and vaccines based on a greater understanding of how the human immune system interacts with both good and bad microbes. The report concludes that the development of a single superdrug to fight all infectious agents is unrealistic.
Burning coal in electric utility plants produces, in addition to power, residues that contain constituents which may be harmful to the environment. The management of large volumes of coal combustion residues (CCRs) is a challenge for utilities, because they must either place the CCRs in landfills, surface impoundments, or mines, or find alternative uses for the material. This study focuses on the placement of CCRs in active and abandoned coal mines.
Rates of organ donation lag far behind the increasing need. At the start of 2006, more than 90,000 people were waiting to receive a solid organ (kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, heart, or intestine). Organ Donation examines a wide range of proposals to increase organ donation, including policies that presume consent for donation as well as the use of financial incentives such as direct payments, coverage of funeral expenses, and charitable contributions.
Children's health has clearly improved over the past several decades. Significant and positive gains have been made in lowering rates of infant mortality and morbidity from infectious diseases and accidental causes, improved access to health care, and reduction in the effects of environmental contaminants such as lead. Yet major questions still remain about how to assess the status of children's health, what factors should be monitored, and the appropriate measurement tools that should be used.