Also See: Breadth of Biodiversity

After months of complaints, hundreds of scientists will finally be able to use a long-coveted recombinant technology without looking over their shoulders. On August 19, National Institutes of Health Director Harold Varmus announced an agreement with DuPont Pharmaceuticals that will enable NIH and NIH-supported researchers to use a DuPont-developed technology, called Cre-lox, without compromising the company's ability to receive the appropriate value for commercial applications.

In a separate agreement with DuPont, the Jackson Laboratory, a nonprofit institution in Bar Harbor, Maine, and a designated national repository for genetically engineered mice, will be permitted to receive, breed, and distribute animals containing Cre-lox to both academic and commercial institutions. All parties contend that the agreements could serve as models for future agreements between academic and commercial research institutions.

"What we've worked [out] with the NIH is a role model for how commercial institutions can put important inventions...

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