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Most recombinant studies no longer need special review, IOM finds

The majority of human gene-transfer studies are no longer novel or controversial enough to require additional review from the National Institutes of Health’s Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC), according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

In a report released on 5 December, the institute urged the NIH to use the advisory committee as a model to develop a process to rigorously review human research in any field that uses applications from emerging technologies and techniques that pose either unknown or significant risks.

“The RAC has instilled public confidence in an area of research that was once deeply controversial, and the RAC model could serve as a method for transparent engagement and review of any novel scientific research that poses unknown or heightened risk,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center who chaired the IOM committee that wrote the report.

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