Office of Technology Assessment - 1,030 Matching Results

Search Results

Informing the Nation: Federal Information Dissemination in an Electronic Age
A summary of the publication 'Informing the Nation: Federal Information Dissemination in an Electronic Age,' which discusses the roles of certain government agencies in disseminating their publications electronically.
Testing in American Schools: Asking the Right Questions
In this report, OTA places testing in its historical and policy context, examines the reasons for testing and the ways it is done, and identifies particular ways Federal policy affects the picture, The report also explores new approaches to testing that derive from modem technology and cognitive research.
The Biology of Mental Disorders
This report presents a summary of research into the biological factors associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder. The report also discusses support for this research and the social context in which it moves forward.
The Menopause, Hormone Therapy, and Women's Health
This background paper describes what is known about the natural progression of the menopause and its effect on women’s health, hormone treatment and prescribing practices, alternative approaches, and research needs.
Global Arms Trade: Commerce in Advanced Military Technology and Weapons
This report, the final product of OTA’s assessment on international collaboration in defense technology, explores the form and dynamics of the international defense industry, the intricacies of technology transfer and equipment sales, and the implications for U.S. policy.
Identifying and Controlling Immunotoxic Substances
This background paper, which describes the state-of the- art of identifying substances that can harm the immune system, represents one response to the committee’s request. Chapter 2 provides basic information about the principal components of the immune system and the general consequences that stem from perturbations to it. Chapter 3 describes methods for evaluating chemical immunotoxicity and reports on some known or suspected immunotoxicants. Chapter 4 summarizes Federal research and regulatory activities related to immunotoxicity.
Improving Automobile Fuel Economy: New Standards, New Approaches
This OTA report responds to a request by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to examine the fuel economy potential of the U.S. fleet and to assist Congress in establishing new fuel economy standards.
Long-Lived Legacy: Managing High-Level and Transuranic Waste at the DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex
This report describes, documents, and analyzes available data about two key waste management problems at the Department of Energy Weapons Complex—those of high-level radioactive waste and transuranic waste. The paper is organized in two chapters—” Chapter 1: Managing High Level Waste’ and ‘Chapter 2: Managing Transuranic Waste. ” Each chapter contains a summary overview followed by a discussion and analysis of important areas in the waste management problem that the DOE faces at present and in its future operations.
Medical Monitoring and Screening in the Workplace: Results of a Survey
This OTA Background Paper presents the results of a survey of 1,500 U.S. companies, the 50 largest utilities, and the largest unions. The survey was designed to obtain information about the types of medical monitoring and screening done in the United States and the extent of their use. OTA finds that virtually all large U.S. employers use some of these tests.
Aircraft Evacuation Testing: Research and Technology Issues
This report describes the OTA study that examined regulatory, research, and technology issues related to passenger safety and evacuation testing.
Alternative Coca Reduction Strategies in the Andean Region
This report identifies opportunities for and constraints to reducing Andean coca production through: 1) improving U.S. alternative development efforts and 2) applying biological control technology (bio-control) to eradicate illegally produced coca.
An Inconsistent Picture: A Compilation of Analyses of Economic Impacts of Competing Approaches to Health Care Reform by Experts and Stakeholders
This report reviews numerous analyses of the economic impacts of the major approaches to health care reform addressed in this Report-Single Payer, Play-or-Pay, Individual Vouchers or Tax Credits, and Managed Competition and identifies some of the key issues and significant assumptions behind the estimates provided in these analyses.
Benefit Design in Health Care Reform: Clinical Preventive Services
This Report examines the evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of selected clinical preventive services, and whether and how this information might be used to design insurance benefits.
Benefit Design in Health Care Reform: Patient Cost-Sharing
This paper examines the health services and economics literature to learn what is known about the effects of patient cost-sharing (that is, annual deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximurns) on patients’ use of health care services, on plan expenditures, and on patients’ health outcomes.
Miniaturization Technologies
This report analyzes various technologies that may be important for future advances in miniaturization. Current research in the United States and other nations is pushing the limits of miniaturization to the point that structures only hundreds of atoms thick will be commonly manufactured. Researchers studying atomic and molecular interactions are continuing to push the frontiers, creating knowledge needed to continue progress in miniaturization. Scientists and engineers are creating microscopic mechanical structures and biological sensors that will have novel and diverse applications.
Moving Ahead: 1991 Surface Transportation Legislation
This report discusses the major issues surrounding the reauthorization of highway and transit legislation is laid out and four illustrative types of surface transportation programs are presented in chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 3 is devoted to the discussion of motor carrier programs, with special attention to issues related to longer combination trucks.
New Opportunities for U.S. Universities in Development Assistance: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment
This background paper discusses the legacy of 40 years of U.S. university/AID collaboration, and examines new opportunities for U.S. university participation in development assistance.
New Ways: Tiltrotor Aircraft and Magnetically Levitated Vehicles
Common issues for these systems include their possible contributions to improving mobility in congested corridors, U.S. technology leadership, the Federal role in transportation research and development, and institutional and community barriers to major, new infrastructure programs. Moreover, some Federal financing is likely to be required if commercial maglev or tiltrotor technologies are to be developed by U.S. industry over the next decade. Congress will need to clarify its objectives for supporting or encouraging these technologies before it can make wise decisions on when or whether to undertake substantial, long-term Federal programs in support of either or both of them. This report identifies several funding and management options for consideration if such goals are established.
Outpatient Immunosuppressive Drugs Under Medicare
In 1984, the year after cyclosporine made its debut onto the health care market, OTA reported to Congress on the likely benefits of the drug for Medicare kidney transplant recipients. The present report, requested by the Senate Committee on Finance in the wake of the repeal of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act, examines Medicare’s current immunosuppressive drug coverage dilemma and the policy tradeoffs it entails for the 1990s.
Redesigning Defense: Planning the Transition to the Future U.S. Defense Industrial Base
This report examines emerging U.S. national security requirements, surveys the current conditions and trends in the DTIB, and proposes some desirable characteristics for the future base. The report concludes with a discussion of the broad strategic choices and tactical decisions that must be considered as the Nation moves to this future base.
Building Future Security: Strategies for Restructuring the Defense Technology and Industrial Base
This report elaborates on the findings of the earlier OTA publications and examines in greater detail the specific policy choices involved in restructuring the defense technology and industrial base (DTIB) over the next decade.
Combined Summaries: Technologies To Sustain Tropical Forest Resources and Biological Diversity
This report discusses how the loss of tropical forests and reduction in the Earth’s biological diversity has grown from development assistance concerns to themes of global debate during the last decade. At the same time that the value of biological resources to local communities and individual nations has become more fully appreciated, the connections between these resources and global environmental stability and economic development potential have been uncovered.
Cystic Fibrosis and DNA Tests: Implications of Carrier Screening
This report concludes that the value of the cystic fibrosis (CF) carrier test is the information it provides. No one can estimate in common terms what it means to an individual to possess information about his or her genetic status, especially when the value concerns reproductive decision-making. As our knowledge of the human genome increases, what we do with information such as CF carrier status will depend on the perceptions and beliefs of all Americans.
Disposal of Chemical Weapons: Alternative Technologies
This background paper briefly describes the Army’s chemical weapons destruction program, discusses the factors that could affect a decision to develop alternatives, discusses the alternatives, and illustrates the difficulty of gaining public acceptance of complex technical systems.
Does Health Insurance Make a Difference?
This background paper reviews and evaluates the available literature linking health insurance coverage with the utilization and process of health care services and with individual health outcomes.
Electronic Surveillance in a Digital Age
This background paper reviews the progress of the industry and the law enforcement agencies in implementing the Act since its approval in October 1994.
Advanced Automotive Technology: Visions of a Super-Efficient Family Car
This report presents the results of the Office of Technology Assessment’s analysis of the prospects for developing automobiles that offer significant improvements in fuel economy and reduced emissions over the longer term (out to the year 2015). The report examines the likely costs and performance of a range of technologies and vehicle types, and the U.S. and foreign research and development programs for these technologies and vehicles (to allow completion of this study before OTA closed its doors, issues such as infrastructure development and market development--- critical to the successful commercialization of advanced vehicles-were not covered).
Environmental Technology: Analysis of Selected Federal R&D Programs
This report discusses estimates of environmental technology R&D spending, interagency coordination mechanisms, and major federal programs, including programs administered by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several other agencies.
EPA Superfund Actions and ATSDR Public Health Data
This paper discusses how EPA sets Superfund cleanup priorities based on Superfund site health ranking data provided by ATSDR. It examines several parameters by which EPA site prioritization might be measured, including timeliness, cost, and use of special removal actions at the worst sites.
Environmental Policy Tools: A User's Guide
This report describes 12 policy tools, and how and where they are currently used. This “user’s guide” presents a framework to help decision-makers narrow down the choice of instruments for addressing a particular problem.
Export Controls and Nonproliferation Policy
The primary purpose of this report is to identify options for enhancing the effectiveness of export controls in slowing or preventing the spread of capabilities to develop and produce weapons of mass destruction.
External Review of the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's HIV Prevention Program: Summary and Overview
This report discusses the process for developing a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention plan. Phase I established four general goals: 1) assess risks; 2) develop prevention technologies; 3) build p revention capacities; and 4) implement prevention programs. Phase II focused on four groups at increased risk for HIV infection: women and infants; injecting drug users; youth in high-risk situations; and men who have sex with men.
Federal Research and Technology for Aviation
This report focuses on research and technology policy issues for aviation operations: safety, security, environmental protection, and the air traffic system.
Fueling Reform: Energy Technologies for the Former East Bloc
This report focuses on technologies to improve energy supply in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union. The report is divided into two parts. The first part reviews energy supply technologies for fossil–fuel and nonfossil–based energy resources. In addition, it reviews the environmental consequences of energy production and consumption. The report highlights specific needs for U.S. technology and opportunities for U.S. business. The second part of the report is devoted to policy considerations. It describes the highly varied political, economic, and social context of reform. Next, it analyzes and catalogues Western energy–related assistance and investment programs for the region. The final chapter of the report presents policy options relating to energy supply and efficiency that will promote the achievement of U.S. political and economic goals.
Hip Fracture Outcomes in People Age 50 and Over
This background paper is one of four documents resulting from OTA’s study of policy issues in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
Studies of the Environmental Costs of Electricity
This report examines a set of environmental cost studies, compares and contrasts their methods and assumptions, and discusses how they could be made more useful to federal policy makers.
Technical Options for the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor
This paper discusses the history and status of the ALMR research program. It presents applications of this technology to the plutonium disposition problem and the possible advantages and disadvantages of its future development and deployment. It also discusses related issues such as waste management and concerns about proliferation of plutonium material.
Technologies for Understanding and Preventing Substance Abuse and Addiction
This report has four parts. The first part focuses on several factors that are necessary for substance abuse and addiction to occur, including an examination of the biological research regarding the phenomenon of addiction to a variety of substances. The second part describes individual risk and protective factors that contribute to the abuse of, and addiction to, alcohol and drugs. The third part, looks at how risk and protective factors play out in subcultures and in major activity settings (home, school, workplace, and recreation), and assesses the effectiveness of various substance abuse prevention initiatives. The fourth section, addresses a range of legislative issues and options for Congress arising from an understanding of the factors leading to substance abuse and addiction.
The Department of Defense Kuwait Oil Health Fire Risk Assessment (The "Persian Gulf Veterans' Registry")
This paper describes briefly the work on DoD’s Kuwait Oil Fire Health Risk Assessment to date, including the results of a pilot study of health risks, and then answers the questions addressed to OTA in PL 102-585.
Tools for Evaluating Health Technologies: Five Background Papers
This paper deals with one of the most basic questions in any health research endeavor: how to measure the outcomes associated with whatever is being studied. The paper describes in greater detail some of the research techniques discussed.
Climate Treaties and Models: Issues in the International Management of Climate Change
This paper seeks to place the issue of climate change within an international context. Specifically, it addresses the feasibility of forging treaty agreements among countries to achieve significant worldwide reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases.
Defensive Medicine and Medical Malpractice
This report discusses the medical malpractice system that has frequently been cited as a contributor to increasing health care costs and has been targeted in many health care reform proposals as a potential source of savings. The report first examines the nature of defensive medicine, adopting a working definition of defensive medicine that embraces the complexity of the problem from both the physician and broader public policy perspectives. Finally, it comments on the potential impact of a variety of medical malpractice reforms on the practice of defensive medicine.
Electronic Enterprises: Looking to the Future
This report takes a strategic look at the development of electronic commerce and identifies the characteristics of the infrastructure that will be required to support it. The report found that, in an electronically networked economy, the design and underlying architecture of the global information infrastructure will have a major impact on national economic growth and development.
Energy Efficiency in Federal Facilities: Update on Funding and Potential Savings
There are two longstanding constraints to implementing more energy efficient practices: 1) a shortage of finds to invest in efficient equipment; and 2) a lack of information for program planning and budgeting about the extent of investment opportunities and about the best finding mechanisms. This paper reviews advances made in addressing these constraints since 1991.
High-Temperature Superconductivity in Perspective
This is the second of two OTA assessments on the subject of high-temperature superconductivity (HTS). As the title suggests, this study attempts to put HTS in perspective, both in terms of competing technologies (e.g., the more mature low-temperature superconductors), and in terms of the many technical and economic problems that must be overcome before HTS can be widely used.
Holding the Edge: Maintaining the Defense Technology Base—Vol. II, Appendices
The report notes that America’s defense technology base has weathered significantly, with challenges to U.S. high-Technology firms from abroad, increasing dependence on foreign and civilian sources of technology for use in military systems, and growing technological sophistication of our adversaries.
Making Things Better: Competing in Manufacturing
This report considers ways to promote the restoration of American leadership in manufacturing technology. Some of the things that most need doing are up to industry— especially in handling people, from managers to engineers to shopfloor workers, and in forming stable, productive relationships between different segments of an industry complex. Government also has a critical role to play.
Neural Grafting: Repairing the Brain and Spinal Cord
This special report, the second of our neuroscience series, discusses the field of neural grafting into the brain and spinal cord to treat neurological disorders. It describes the technology of neural grafting, the neurological conditions that it may be used to treat, and the patient populations that are affected. Also, the legal and ethical issues raised by the development of neural grafting techniques are discussed. The report includes a range of options for congressional action related to the Federal funding of transplantation research using human fetal tissue, the adequacy of existing Federal laws and regulations regarding the use of human fetal tissue, and the role of the Federal Government in guiding the development and promoting the safety and efficacy of neural grafting procedures.
Neurotoxicity: Identifying and Controlling Poisons of the Nervous System
This Report, the first of the neuroscience series, discusses the risks posed by neurotoxic substances—substances that can adversely affect the nervous system—and evaluates the Federal research and regulatory programs now in place to address these risks.
Complex Cleanup: The Environmental Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Production
This report is a comprehensive look at the problem as we now know it, the public concerns about the problem, and DOE’s plans for addressing it. It focuses especially on the need for additional attention to those areas which DOE has neither the capability nor the credibility to handle.