NIH Proposes Rules for Materials Exchange

Science  28 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5419, pp. 1445
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5419.1445b

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Although the principle that research materials such as reagents, antibodies, genes, cells, and animals should be freely exchanged among scientists still stands, the invasion of commerce into biomedical research has meant that lawyers may haggle for months about conditions before a single test tube is shipped. Last week, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) proposed a new code of conduct aimed at curbing this legal wrangling and accelerating scientific discovery. The document, drawn up by NIH's office of technology transfer, has been put on the Web ( for comment.