Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)

Fresno State University is committed to the safe, legal, and ethical use of biologically-derived materials in research. Fresno State and the U.S. government understand that there are certain types of life sciences research which can be conducted with both benevolent and malevolent intentions. Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) is a subset of such research that when misapplied could pose significant health and safety threats with broad potential consequences. DURC is defined by the US Government (USG) as “life sciences research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel, or national security.” 

Under the current regulations, DURC applies to research conducted involving one of the 15 select agents that may result in one or more of 7 specific categories of experimental outcomes as described below. 

Current agents subject to DURC policy:

  • Avian influenza virus (highly pathogenic)
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Botulinum neurotoxin (no exempt quantities)
  • Burkholderia mallei
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • Ebola virus
  • Foot-and-mouth disease virus
  • Francisella tularensis
  • Marburg virus
  • Reconstructed 1918 influenza virus
  • Rinderpest virus
  • Toxin-producing strains of Clostridium botulinum
  • Variola major virus
  • Variola minor virus
  • Yersinia pestis

Applicable DURC Categories of Experiments:

1. Enhances the harmful consequences of the agent or toxin;
2. Disrupts immunity or the effectiveness of an immunization against the agent or toxin without clinical or
agricultural justification;
3. Confers to the agent or toxin resistance to clinically or agriculturally useful prophylactic or therapeutic
interventions against that agent or toxin, or facilitates their ability to evade detection methodologies;
4. Increases the stability, transmissibility, or the ability to disseminate the agent or toxin;
5. Alters the host range or tropism of the agent or toxin;
6. Enhances susceptibility of a host population to the agent or toxin;
7. Generates or reconstitutes an eradicated or extinct agent or toxin listed above. 

DURC Policy

There are two USG policies that address the oversight of life sciences DURC:

1. United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern

2. United States Government Policy for Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern 

Resources

DURC Training

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Science Policy: DURC

FAQs on the U.S. Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences DURC