Today, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) finalized a proposal to amend the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules(NIH Guidelines) to streamline the oversight of gene therapy research.
For the fourth consecutive year, the NIH Office of Science Policy (OSP) has designated October as National Biosafety Month. The purpose of National Biosafety Month is to encourage institutions to refocus efforts related to biosafety and to undertake activities aimed at strengthening biosafety programs. To learn more about National Biosafety Month and the activities that OSP has planned, please view the latest “Under the Poliscope” blog "National Biosafety Month: The New Fall Classic"
In honor of the recent 40th anniversary of the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines) as well as the emergence of new technologies in the life sciences, it is an opportune time to examine the current biosafety oversight framework, and discuss the future direction of biosafety oversight. In the decades since scientists gathered at Asilomar, there has been considerable evolution in molecular biology, our understanding of risk and safety, and biosafety oversight. While recombinant DNA has become ubiquitous, new emerging technologies – ranging from new genome editing tools to novel RNA applications – are presenting interesting challenges to our current biosafety framework.