Four biosafety levels are also described for infectious disease work with laboratory animals. Safety practices, equipment, and facilities are designated by Animal Biosafety Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4. Refer to the Laboratory Safety chapter for more information regarding the use of hazardous materials with laboratory research animals.
7. Recombinant DNA Research
As an institute that receives NIH funding, TAMUS-HSC is obligated to ensure that all recombinant DNA (rDNA) work conducted by its faculty and staff conforms with Federal rDNA guidelines. This task falls jointly to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and the component safety department. The IBC reviews all protocols involving rDNA, rules on the appropriateness of proposed containment procedures, and sets suitable biosafety levels. The Components Safety Office inspects individual laboratories and verifies that practices and facilities meet the requisite biosafety level assigned by the IBC. The Federal rDNA guidelines define rDNA as " . . . molecules which are constructed outside of living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can replicate in a living cell." The Federal definition also includes the replicated progeny of these molecules as well as cells, plants, and animals that harbor such molecules. Transgenic plants and animals also come under the guidelines, even if the transgenic DNA was not cloned prior to introduction. Principal Investigators who possess rDNA in any form must file an rDNA protocol with the IBC.