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Computer Software and Intellectual Property

Description: This background paper examines existing intellectual-property protection for computer software-copyrights, patents, and trade secrets—and provides an overview of the often conflicting views and concerns of various stakeholders. It was prepared in response to a request from the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Administration of Justice of the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Date: March 1990
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Coping With an Oiled Sea

Description: In the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in March, 1989, a myriad of investigations were initiated to evaluate the causes of that accident and to propose remedies. The Office of Technology Assessment was asked to study the Nation’s oil spill clean-up capabilities and to assess the technologies for responding to such catastrophic spills in the future.
Date: March 1990
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Development Assistance, Export Promotion, and Environmental Technology

Description: This background paper provides an overview of developing country environmental problems and markets for environmental technologies and services. It discusses preliminary estimates on the amount and purposes of environmental aid provided by donor countries in 1991. The paper discusses the commercial implications of other countries’ aid for U.S. environmental firms, and the Helsinki package adopted by the OECD in late 1991 to limit commercial advantage from use of tied aid credits.
Date: August 1993
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Dioxin Treatment Technologies

Description: This paper presents the status of national efforts to cleanup dioxin-contaminated sites and the technologies that have been used, proposed, and researched. It covers thermal and nonthermal treatment techniques as well as approaches such as stabilization and storage. It discusses the development of these technologies as well as advantages and disadvantages of their use.
Date: November 1991
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Disposal of Chemical Weapons: Alternative Technologies

Description: 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.
Date: June 1992
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Effectiveness and Costs of Osteoporosis Screening and Hormone Replacement Therapy, Vol. I: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Description: This paper assesses the medical benefits and costs of both screening and hormone replacement therapy. It is divided into two volumes. This volume presents the results of a model that estimates the cost per year of life gained from osteoporosis screening and hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women.
Date: August 1995
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Effectiveness and Costs of Osteoporosis Screening and Hormone Replacement Therapy, Vol. II: Evidence on Benefits, Risks, and Costs

Description: This paper assesses the medical benefits and costs of both screening and hormone replacement therapy. It is divided into two volumes. This volume provides the basis for the assumptions about the costs and effects of screening and hormonal replacement therapy used in the cost-effectiveness model.
Date: August 1995
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Electronic delivery of public assistance benefits: technology options and policy issues

Description: This background paper discusses the technological options available for use in an electronic system to deliver public assistance benefits, the privacy and security implications of such a system, and the programmatic effects of changing to an electronic delivery system. It was requested by the Subcommittee on the Handicapped of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.
Date: April 1988
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Energy Use and the U.S. Economy

Description: The background paper extends the analysis of energy use into new areas by explicitly looking at how energy use has changed with the expansion of the service sector, the explosion of international trade, and greater complexity of the U.S. economy as the structure of businesses changed in response to new technologies and competitive challenges. The increasing sophistication of the U.S. economy means that the role of energy is less likely to be directly identified and is instead more likely to be an indirect factor that was added many steps before in the complex network that connects producer to consumer. This report explicitly separates direct from indirect energy use.
Date: June 1990
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

The FBI Fingerprint Identification Automation Program: Issues and Options

Description: This report focuses on key assumptions that will affect the sizing and procurement of the new FBI system, and on other related steps that appear necessary to ensure complete and up-to-date record systems. These include full implementation of a Federal/State/local partnership for maintaining and exchanging fingerprint and criminal history records; enactment of an interstate compact or Federal legislation setting out uniform rules for the exchange of such records; standards and funding for improving criminal history record completeness and disposition reporting; and privacy and security protections for electronic fingerprint and record information.
Date: November 1991
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Federal and Private Roles in the Development and Provision of Alglucerase Therapy for Gaucher Disease

Description: This background paper describes the development of alglucerase, illustrates the role that both the Federal Government and private sector can have in making new therapies available for orphan diseases, and lays out some of the tradeoffs that can exist between developing new medical technologies and controlling health care costs.
Date: October 1992
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Federal Technology Transfer and the Human Genome Project

Description: This report analyzes universities’, companies’, and researchers’ experiences and perspectives since enactment of federal laws to enhance technology transfer—especially as it pertains to research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy, the agencies funding U.S. efforts in the Human Genome Project.
Date: September 1995
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

The Fusion Energy Program: The Role of TPX and Alternate Concepts

Description: This report focuses on the following two questions for the U.S. fusion energy program. First, what is the role of the Tokamak Physics Experiment (TPX), an approximately $700 million fusion reactor currently awaiting a congressional decision to begin construction? Second, what is the role of alternatives to the tokamak concept in a broad-based fusion energy program?
Date: unknown
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Genetic Counseling and Cystic Fibrosis Carrier Screening: Results of a Survey

Description: This paper presents results from a 1991 OTA survey of 431 genetic counselors and nurse geneticists. It was conducted to better understand the environment in which the average genetic counselor or nurse in genetics works, to describe the infrastructure and tools available to these professionals, to assess the state of practice in the provision of cystic fibrosis (CF) carrier screening, and to evaluate their attitudes regarding CF carrier screening.
Date: October 1992
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Genetic Tests and Health Insurance: Results of a Survey

Description: This background paper describes results from a 1991 OTA survey of U.S. health insurers’ attitudes toward genetic tests and genetic information— both how they currently view information from various sources (e.g., genetic tests, other medical tests, or family histories) in underwriting decisions and how they might reimburse consumers for genetic tests. It also reports data on the role health insurers expect genetic tests and genetic information will play in their business practices over the coming decade.
Date: October 1992
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Hazards Ahead: Managing Cleanup Worker Health and Safety at the Nuclear Weapons Complex

Description: This paper concludes that, thus far, Department of Energy has (DOE) and its contractors have devoted little attention to cleanup worker health and safety. They have not convinced workers and managers that a “new culture” of accountability in environment, safety, and health is truly ascendent.
Date: February 1993
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Health Care Technology and Its Assessment in Eight Countries

Description: This paper discusses the experiences of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom—technology assessment with six technologies (or sets of technologies) including evaluation and management efforts and how the technologies diffused— are presented and compared.
Date: February 1995
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.