Despite their obvious importance, very little is actually known about the processes and factors that influence the assembly, function, and stability of microbial communities. Gaining this knowledge will require a seismic shift away from the study of individual microbes in isolation to inquiries into the nature of diverse and often complex microbial communities, the forces that shape them, and their relationships with other communities and organisms, including their multicellular hosts.
On March 6 and 7, 2012, the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop to explore the emerging science of the "social biology" of microbial communities. Workshop presentations and discussions embraced a wide spectrum of topics, experimental systems, and theoretical perspectives representative of the current, multifaceted exploration of the microbial frontier. Participants discussed ecological, evolutionary, and genetic factors contributing to the assembly, function, and stability of microbial communities; how microbial communities adapt and respond to environmental stimuli; theoretical and experimental approaches to advance this nascent field; and potential applications of knowledge gained from the study of microbial communities for the improvement of human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health and toward a deeper understanding of microbial diversity and evolution. The Social Biology of Microbial Communities: Workshop Summary further explains the happenings of the workshop.
The Infectious Etiology of Chronic Diseases: Defining the Relationship, Enhancing the Research, and Mitigating the Effects, summarizes a two-day workshop held by the Institute of Medicineâ€™s Forum on Microbial Threats to address this rapidly evolving field. Participants explored factors driving infectious etiologies of chronic diseases of prominence, identified difficulties in linking infectious agents with chronic outcomes, and discussed broad-based strategies and research programs to advance the field.
Emerging Viral Diseases is the summary of a public workshop hosted in March 2014 to examine factors driving the appearance, establishment, and spread of emerging, re-emerging and novel viral diseases; the global health and economic impacts of recently emerging and novel viral diseases in humans; and the scientific and policy approaches to improving domestic and international capacity to detect and respond to global outbreaks of infectious disease. This report is a record of the presentations and discussion of the event.
The Influence of Global Environmental Change on Infectious Disease Dynamics is the summary of a workshop hosted by the Institute of Medicine Forum on Microbial Threats in September 2013 to explore the scientific and policy implications of the impacts of global environmental change on infectious disease emergence, establishment, and spread. This report examines the observed and potential influence of environmental factors, acting both individually and in synergy, on infectious disease dynamics. The report considers a range of approaches to improve global readiness and capacity for surveillance, detection, and response to emerging microbial threats to plant, animal, and human health in the face of ongoing global environmental change.
Violence and related forms of abuse against elders is a global public health and human rights problem with far-reaching consequences, resulting in increased death, disability, and exploitation with collateral effects on well-being. Data suggest that at least 10 percent of elders in the United States are victims of elder maltreatment every year. In low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of violence is the greatest, the figure is likely even higher. In addition, elders experiencing risk factors such as diminishing cognitive function, caregiver dependence, and social isolation are more vulnerable to maltreatment and underreporting. As the world population of adults aged 65 and older continues to grow, the implications of elder maltreatment for health care, social welfare, justice, and financial systems are great. However, despite the magnitude of global elder maltreatment, it has been an underappreciated public health problem. Elder Abuse and Its Prevention discusses the prevalence and characteristics of elder abuse around the world, risk factors for abuse and potential adverse health outcomes, and contextually specific factors, such as culture and the role of the community.
Prevention practices have emerged in a variety of settings, including programs for selected at-risk populations (such as children and youth in the child welfare system), school-based interventions, interventions in primary care settings, and community services designed to address a broad array of mental health needs and populations.
Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People updates a 1994 Institute of Medicine book, Reducing Risks for Mental Disorders, focusing special attention on the research base and program experience with younger populations that have emerged since that time.
Researchers, such as those involved in prevention science, mental health, education, substance abuse, juvenile justice, health, child and youth development, as well as policy makers involved in state and local mental health, substance abuse, welfare, education, and justice will depend on this updated information on the status of research and suggested directions for the field of mental health and prevention of disorders.
Community Programs to Promote Youth Development explores these questions, focusing on essential elements of adolescent well-being and healthy development. It offers recommendations for policy, practice, and research to ensure that programs are well designed to meet young people's developmental needs.
The book also discusses the features of programs that can contribute to a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood. It examines what we know about the current landscape of youth development programs for America's youth, as well as how these programs are meeting their diverse needs.
Recognizing the importance of adolescence as a period of transition to adulthood, Community Programs to Promote Youth Development offers authoritative guidance to policy makers, practitioners, researchers, and other key stakeholders on the role of youth development programs to promote the healthy development and well-being of the nation's youth.