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Researchers have until August 1st to make their views known on a proposed policy for sharing genetically modified mice and mutant strains bred for research. The policy applies to both knockout and transgenic mice, inbred and mutant strains, as well as associated data and tools, such as DNA vectors and embryonic stem cells.
Early reviews of the National Institutes of Health's draft statement from professional organizations were positive, perhaps because the agency couched the statement as a strong suggestion to researchers, rather than as a rule for NIH grant applicants. "Unnecessary delay of publication and prolonged exclusive use of the mice are not in the best interests of the research community or the public health," says the NIH on its extensive Web site explaining the intricacies of the policy (www.nih.gov/science/models/mouse/sharing/index.html).
The mouse-sharing policy clarifies NIH's position on one of the most important research tools...