Pediatric Clinical Studies: New Report From the NAS

WASHINGTON — Federal laws that motivate or require drug and biologic developers to conduct pediatric studies have yielded beneficial information to guide the use of medications in children, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine.  Still, studies involving children continue to be limited, especially in certain areas such as medications’ use in newborns and long-term safety and effectiveness in children.  The report identifies ways that Congress and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could further improve the utility of clinical information obtained from pediatric studies, including expanding innovative strategies to research drugs and biologics in children, using FDA’s authority to require long-term pediatric studies of possible safety risks, and giving FDA flexibility to impose sanctions for unreasonably delayed studies.

National Academies Select New Executive Officer

WASHINGTON– Bruce B. Darling, currently vice president for laboratory management at the University of California, will soon join the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council as executive officer.  His transition from the university to NAS will occur over the next several months.  He will succeed E. William Colglazier, who now serves as science and technology adviser at the U.S. Department of State.    Read More. 

NAS Report Calls for Creation of a Biomedical Research and Patient Data Network

WASHINGTON — A new data network that integrates emerging research on the molecular makeup of diseases with clinical data on individual patients could drive the development of a more accurate classification of disease and ultimately enhance diagnosis and treatment, says a new report from the National Research Council.  The “new taxonomy” that emerges would define diseases by their underlying molecular causes and other factors in addition to their traditional physical signs and symptoms.  The report adds that the new data network could also improve biomedical research by enabling scientists to access patients’ information during treatment while still protecting their rights.  This would allow the marriage of molecular research and clinical data at the point of care, as opposed to research information continuing to reside primarily in academia.

NAS Releases New Science Manual For Judges; New Chapters Include Neuroscience

WASHINGTON – The National Research Council today released the third edition of the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence.  Developed to guide judges as they encounter scientific evidence at trials, it replaces an edition published in 2000 and includes new chapters on areas such as neuroscience, mental health, and forensic science.  The new manual was developed in collaboration with the Federal Judicial Center, which produced the previous editions, and was rigorously peer-reviewed in accordance with the procedures of the National Research Council.

2011 Winners of National Medals of Science, Technology

NAS Members honored are:

National Medal of Science

     Jacqueline K. Barton (NAS),  California Institute of Technology

     Ralph L. Brinster (NAS, IOM),  University of Pennsylvania

     Shu Chien (NAS, NAE, IOM,  University of California, San Diego

     Rudolf Jaenisch (NAS, IOM), Whitehead Institute MIT

     Peter J. Stang (NAS),University of Utah

     Richard A. Tapia (NAE), Rice University

     Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan (NAS), New York University

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

     Rakesh Agrawal (NAE), Purdue University

     B. Jayant Baliga (NAE), North Carolina State University

     Yvonne C. Brill (NAE),  RCA Astro Electronics (retired)

 Other winners of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation are C. Donald Bateman of Honeywell and Michael F. Tompsett of TheraManager

National Academies Press Makes All PDF Books Free to Download

As of today all PDF versions of books published by the National Academies Press will be downloadable to anyone free of charge. This includes a current catalog of more than 4,000 books plus all future reports printed by NAP. “Our business model has evolved so that is now financially viable to put this content out to the entire world for free,” said NAP executive director Barbara Kline Pope. “This is a wonderful opportunity to make a positive impact by more effectively sharing our knowledge and analysis.”

The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies Workshop

The National Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science will hold a workshop on March 22, 2010 exploring the value of genetic and genomic technologies.   Click here to register for this meeting.
When:  March 22, 2010 (8:00 AM)
Where: Beckman Center • 100 Academy Drive, Irvine, CA 92617
Topics:    Biomedical and Health Research, Public Health
Activity: Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health
Board:      Board on Health Sciences Policy

A public workshop will be held to examine the perceived value of genetic and genomic technologies, both present and future, in clinical practice from different stakeholder perspectives.

This workshop will build on the concepts of clinical utility, personal utility, public utility, and economic value, and explore these different types of value through questions such as:  

-How do different stakeholders define the value of genetic and genomic technologies?   

-How do stakeholders evaluate the weight of one kind of value in relation to another? 

-How do people assess relative values to make health care decisions?

-How do these types of value relate, or not relate, to the monetary cost of the technologies? 

Presentations and discussions will explore the concept of value in regards to genomics and genetics, and how it affects the view of stakeholders and the way they make decisions about using these technologies. Stakeholders, including patients, payers, policy makers, and others will present their perspectives.

The New Biology of the 21st Century

The National Research Council’s Board on Life Sciences — which oversees studies on topics that include genomics, bioterrorism, stem cells, and other areas of interest in the life sciences — hosted a one-day symposium to mark its achievements of the past 25 years and look forward to future research. Their work identified that the integration of various disciplines into life sciences will, in the future, be the way to address some of our world’s most critical challenges:  energy, climate, food, health.  See the YouTube video on their conclusions.   Download your free copy of their report.