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New NIH Rules Promote Greater Sharing of Tools and Materials

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Science  24 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5449, pp. 2430-2431
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5449.2430a

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As one of his final acts as National Institutes of Health (NIH) director, Harold Varmus last week approved controversial new guidelines that set ground rules for sharing research tools. But it will be up to his successor to reconcile the opposing views of important segments of the biomedical community. Although biomedical researchers and large drug companies are pleased with the increased access to new materials that it affords, some biotech entrepreneurs may decide not to share materials on NIH's terms to avoid giving away the store.