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Health & Bioscience


As a non-regulatory agency, NIST provides a solid foundation of measurement assurance that enables innovations in health and bioscience: Medical researchers and manufacturers of diagnostics and treatments use NIST research, calibrations, and standards development leadership to be able to efficiently develop new products, meet regulatory requirements, and ensure efficacy and safety of treatments.

NIST measurement research in emerging bioscience areas, including regenerative medicine, the microbiome, and synthetic biology helps rapidly advance our understanding of biology—from genomics and engineered biology, to bioinformatics and nutrition—and provide the basis for industries to harness these advances for new medical technologies.

NIST calibrations and reference data also provide the medical community with critical tools that ensure the accuracy and efficacy of numerous diagnostics and tests.  For example,  NIST’s ionizing radiation standards and calibration services are essential to hundreds of millions of annual medical imaging procedures (x-ray, mammography, magnetic resonance, etc.) in the U.S. as well as for radiation-based cancer treatments. 


a man and a woman walking toward one another with exposure notification system bracelets on. "Waves" coming off the bracelets show that they are coming too close to one another.

Developing an Exposure Notification System to Blunt the Spread of COVID-19 and Future Pandemics

I am part of a grassroots effort at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that is developing an exposure notification system for pandemics in general, though we hope it could be used in at least a limited fashion during the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are fortunate at NIST to have all the expertise required to tackle this multidisciplinary problem, solutions to which have the
Image of the countries of Earth connected through technology

NIST Scientists Explore the World of Tech Transfer

Illustration shows green molecules forming a cell membrane on a black background.

Neutrons Help Measure Cell Membrane Viscosity — and Reveal Its Basis

A man in a lab coat and safety glasses looks up at petri dishes he is holding.

Spotlight: Scott Jackson’s Living in a Microbial World

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