Category Archives: zJournal articles

National Academies Press publication: Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science (2015) / Nancy J. Cooke & Margaret L. Hilton

The past half-century has witnessed a dramatic increase in the scale and complexity of scientific research. The growing scale of science has been accompanied by a shift toward collaborative research, referred to as “team science.” Scientific research is increasingly conducted by small teams and larger groups rather than individual investigators, but the challenges of collaboration can slow these teams’ progress in achieving their scientific goals. How does a team-based approach work, and how can universities and research institutions support teams?

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science synthesizes and integrates the available research to provide guidance on assembling the science team; leadership, education and professional development for science teams and groups. It also examines institutional and organizational structures and policies to support science teams and identifies areas where further research is needed to help science teams and groups achieve their scientific and translational goals. This report offers major public policy recommendations for science research agencies and policymakers, as well as recommendations for individual scientists, disciplinary associations, and research universities. Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science will be of interest to university research administrators, team science leaders, science faculty, and graduate and postdoctoral students.

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[In Depth] Report prescribes strong medicine for WHO

Science 17 July 2015:  Vol. 349 no. 6245 pp. 223-224
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6245.223

On 7 July, an independent six-member panel delivered a scathing review of how the World Health Organization (WHO) has handled the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. It also proposed wide-ranging reforms that would enable the agency to better tackle the next major health crisis—from giving it more money and power to setting up a special, semi-independent emergency center. But whereas many of the suggestions have been praised as sensible, WHO’s complex, politicized governance structure and entrenched bureaucracy make it difficult to change, people who know the $2 billion U.N. agency say. Much will depend on member states’ willingness to give the agency additional funding and powers.

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[Feature] Deep sleep

Science 10 July 2015:  Vol. 349 no. 6244 pp. 132-135
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6244.132

Scientists are reviving an old and largely discarded idea for disposing of the United States’ most radioactive nuclear waste: sticking it down holes drilled 5 kilometers into Earth’s crust. The renewed interest in deep boreholes comes as the federal government struggles to find a way to rid itself of more than 83,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel and remnants of nuclear weapons production. The Obama administration has abandoned the previous plan to bury it in a mine in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, amid opposition from Nevada politicians. Now, scientists at Sandia National Laboratories are moving ahead with an $80 million dollar, 5-year test of deep boreholes, to see if they are practical and safe. Some advocates suggest boreholes could be a solution for disposing of most high-level waste. But others warn that the technology is untested, or would only work for a small portion of the waste that’s small enough to easily fit down a borehole. One prime candidate is highly radioactive cesium and strontium now stored in slender steel canisters at an aging building at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site in Washington state.

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[In Depth] Narcolepsy link to pandemic flu vaccine becomes clearer

Science 3 July 2015:  Vol. 349 no. 6243 p. 17
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6243.17

The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic left a troubling legacy in Europe: More than 1300 people who received a vaccine to prevent the flu developed narcolepsy, an incurable, debilitating condition that causes overpowering daytime sleepiness, sometimes accompanied by a sudden muscle weakness in response to strong emotions such as laughter or anger. The manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, has acknowledged the link, and some patients and their families have already been awarded compensation. But how the vaccine might have triggered the condition has been unclear. In a paper in Science Translational Medicine this week, researchers offer a possible explanation. They show that the vaccine, called Pandemrix, triggers antibodies that can also bind to a receptor in brain cells that help regulate sleepiness. The work strongly suggests that Pandemrix, which was given to more than 30 million Europeans, triggered an autoimmune reaction that led to narcolepsy in some people who are genetically at risk.

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Protection of the Public against Exposure Indoors due to Radon and Other Natural Sources of Radiation – Specific Safety Guide

IAEA Safety Standards Series SSG-32, 2015;  STI/PUB/1651 (ISBN:978-92-0-102514-2) 90 pp.; 4 figures;

This Safety Guide provides recommendations on meeting the requirements established in the IAEA International Basic Safety Standards, for protection of the public against exposure indoors due to natural sources of radiation. Guidance is provided on the application of the requirements for justification and optimization of protection by national authorities in considering control of natural sources of radiation indoors such as radon and radionuclides of natural origin in materials used for the construction of dwellings, offices, industrial premises and other buildings. The Safety Guide provides recommendations and guidance to be followed by the regulatory body and by other authorities and organizations with responsibilities in relation to exposure to radiation from natural sources.

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Water Science & Technology – Contents Pages

Table of Contents  |  Volume 72 Number 1 2015

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Water Research – Contents Pages

Table of Contents  |  Volume 81, Pages 1-416 (15 September 2015)