Office of Research Assurances


Definitions of Technologies in Use

  1. Recombinant DNA technology:
  2. Recombinant DNA molecules are defined as: molecules that are constructed outside living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can replicate in a living cell, or molecules that result from the replication of those previously described.

  3. Cloning:
  4. Cloning is defined as: a cell, group of cells, or organism that is descended from and genetically identical to a single common ancestor, such as a bacterial colony whose members arose from a single original cell. It also includes a DNA sequence, such as a gene, that is transferred from one organism to another and replicated by genetic engineering techniques.

    If organisms descended asexually from a single ancestor, such as a natural, wild, unmodified plant produced by layering or by budding, then they are exempt under the definition.

  5. Transgenic plants:
  6. Transgenic plants: relate to an organism whose genome has been altered by the transfer of a gene or genes from another species or breed. Transgenic organisms are created for research to help determine the function of the inserted gene or are used to produce a desired substance.

  7. Genetic Engineering:
  8. Genetic engineering refers to the process in which genes or other genetic elements from one or more organisms are inserted into the genetic material of a second organism using molecular biology methods. Moving a new gene or genes in this way allows researchers to introduce useful new traits into an organism from individuals of the same species or from unrelated species.

  9. Genetically Modified Organism (GMO):
  10. A GMO is: described as an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques generally known as recombinant DNA technology.

  11. Others
  12. Gene interchange: happens when accidental dispersal of biologically sensitive material (such as transgenic pollen and seed) is dispersed in unplanned, uncontrolled, and accidental manner. The IBC must be notified when these events occur.

    If a researcher uses any of these technologies, please fill the relevant forms and send them to the Office of Research Assurances (ORA) attention IBC Coordinator. Mail stop 3005 or fax to 509-335-6410.

Office of Research Assurances, P.O. Box 643143, Neil Room 428, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-3143
Phone: 509-335-7195, Fax: 509-335-6410,