Genomics: Consensus 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.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 18

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

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

Sequence-Based Classification of Select Agents: A Brighter Line (2010)

Although measures are in place to protect against the loss, theft, or misuse of Select Agents—a list of the names of pathogens or biological toxins with the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety—concerns are growing that advances in molecular biology have created new biosecurity challenges. In particular, DNA synthesis technology may make it possible to create Select Agents, modify them by introducing small changes to th... More >>

Report in Brief

Achievements of the National Plant Genome Initiative and New Horizons in Plant Biology (2008)

Life on Earth would be impossible without plants. Humans rely on plants for most clothing, furniture, food, as well as for many pharmaceuticals and other products. Plant genome sciences are essential to understanding how plants function and how to develop desirable plant characteristics. For example, plant genomic science can contribute to the development of plants that are drought-resistant, those that require less fertilizer, and those tha... More >>

Report in Brief

The New Science of Metagenomics: Revealing the Secrets of Our Microbial Planet (2007)

Although we can't usually see them, microbes are essential for every part of human life -- indeed all life on Earth. The emerging field of metagenomics offers a new way of exploring the microbial world that will transform modern microbiology and lead to practical applications in medicine, agriculture, alternative energy, environmental remediation, and many others areas. Metagenomics allows researchers to look at the genomes of all of th... More >>

Report in Brief