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The Daniel Nathans Papers

Letter from Daniel Nathans to Paul Berg pdf (81,320 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Daniel Nathans to Paul Berg
Number of Image Pages:
1 (81,320 Bytes)
1973-07-23 (July 23, 1973)
Nathans, Daniel
Berg, Paul
Original Repository: Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. Daniel Nathans Collection
Reproduced with permission of Joanne Nathans.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Guidelines as Topic
Exhibit Category:
Restriction Enzymes and the "New Genetics," 1970-1980
Metadata Record Letter from Paul Berg to Daniel Nathans (June 11, 1973) pdf (48,862 Bytes) ocr (1,408 Bytes)
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
July 23, 1973
Dear Paul:
In response to your letter about guidelines for investigators working with infectious agents and institutional monitoring committees, I would hope the American Cancer Society could refer to a published set of guidelines from NIH rather than come up with its own. Such a document is available and is now being revised.
My general view is that ACS should require monitoring by the institution sponsoring research involving agents potentially hazardous to people, first in regard to procedures for handling the agents, and second, for testing the adequacy of these procedures. I think it is possible to write down certain procedural principles. For example: 1) potentially hazardous agents should be in covered containers at all times except when handled in appropriate hoods which can be decontaminated; 2) all contaminated materials should be autoclaved or otherwise sterilized; 3) mouth pipetting should be avoided; 4) decontamination procedures should be available in case of accidents; 5) the formation of aerosols should be minimized; 6) only approved personnel should use rooms where agents are grown or processed. In regard to testing the adequacy of procedures, in many instances periodic measurement of antibody levels of laboratory personnel would be most suitable.
Obviously these principles are not complete and as I indicated earlier, I would hope we can refer to an NIH document which would be more complete. However, I think it important to stress that generally we do not know that an agent used in research is hazardous to people and that the guidelines are intended to reduce the spread of such agents without requiring the very elaborate precautions needed for proven human pathogens.
With best regards,
Daniel Nathans
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