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NIH Advises Researchers To Authenticate Cell Cultures

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health issued a notice last week that it expects researchers working with cultured cells to use authentication procedures in order to avoid misidentified or contaminated cultures that can significantly affect research outcomes.
The NIH cautioned that grant applications that fail to employ authentication methods “would not be considered of the highest quality and such manuscripts would not fare well in the journal review process.”
The notification is a response to an open letter from Roland Nardone, a professor at the Discovery Center for Cell and Molecular Biology at the Catholic University of America, and by a number of other biologists, to US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, which said that misidentification of cell lines is a serious and potentially growing problem that can have the potential for “dire consequences.”
The authors of the letter advised that “all researchers using cell cultures incorporate a specific cell line authentication protocol into their experimental framework” and that authentication be mandatory in order for researchers to receive grants.

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