Biosafety is the application of knowledge, techniques and equipment to prevent personal, laboratory and environmental exposure to biohazards. Research that is conducted at or sponsored by an institution that receives any support for recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid research from NIH is subject to oversight as described in the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines).
Institutions subject to NIH Guidelines oversight must have an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) registered with the NIH Office of Science Policy (OSP) that reviews, approves, and oversees research with rDNA. Research with select agents is subject to federal oversight and must also be reviewed and approved by an IBC. The IBC may additionally be charged to oversee use of biohazardous materials that are not subject to the NIH Guidelines and Select Agent Regulations such as infectious and potentially infectious agents and biological toxins.
Institutions subject to US Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern must have a mechanism in place to evaluate research that is potentially dual use research of concern (DURC). Institutions subject to the Policy must also have an established Institutional Review Entity (IRE).

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