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Open Access The National Institutes of Health System for Enhancing the Science, Safety, and Ethics of Recombinant DNA Research

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Oversight of recombinant DNA research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is predicated on ethical and scientific responsibilities that are akin, in many ways, to those that pertain to the oversight of animal research. The NIH system of oversight, which originated more than 25 years ago, is managed by the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities (OBA), which uses various tools to fulfill its oversight responsibilities. These tools include the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (NIH Guidelines) and the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. The OBA also undertakes special initiatives to promote the analysis and dissemination of information key to our understanding of recombinant DNA, and in particular, human gene transfer research. These initiatives include a new query-capable database, an analytical board of scientific and medical experts, and conferences and symposia on timely scientific, safety, and policy issues.

Veterinary scientists can play an important role in the oversight of recombinant DNA research and in enhancing our understanding of the many safety and scientific dimensions of the field. These roles include developing appropriate animal models, reporting key safety data, enhancing institutional biosafety review, and promoting compliance with the NIH Guidelines.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Director of Outreach, Office of Biotechnology Activities, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 2: Director, Office of Biotechnology Activities, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892

Publication date: 2003-04-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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