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Your Privacy

Protecting your privacy is very important to us. When you visit our Web site, we do not collect any personally identifiable information (PII) about you unless you choose to provide such information to us. To help us improve the site, we collect statistics about its usage. None of this includes personally identifiable information. We also collect search terms to learn what topics are of most interest to visitors who use our Web search tool. These search terms are not associated with individual users.


When inquiries are e-mailed to us, we store the question and the e-mail address so we can respond electronically. We do not store or use this information for any other purpose. Unless required by law, we do not publicly identify those who send questions or comments to our Web site.

Your e-mail address may also be stored in one of several electronic mailing lists maintained by us or a contractor. In order to be added to these lists, you must specifically ask to subscribe to them, for example, by filling out a Web form on a publication page. If you would like to have your e-mail address removed from any of our mailing lists that you may have joined, you can contact us via e-mail at or by phone at 301-496-7301. Please specify the mailing list from which you wish to have your address removed. Unless required by law, we do not provide our mailing lists to requestors.

E-mail sent to NIGMS may be seen by a number of people who are responsible for answering questions. If the information specialist who answers the mail does not know the answer to your question, your query may be forwarded to another NIH employee who is more knowledgeable in that area. In addition, you should be aware that e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. If your communication contains sensitive or personal information, you may want to send it by postal mail or contact us by telephone.

Our Web site has links to other federal agencies, as well as links to private organizations. Once you link to another site, you are subject to the privacy policy of the new site.

Publication Orders

If you order publications from us, we will share your name, address, other contact information and the titles of the publications you requested with a contractor that stores and distributes publications for us.

If you indicate on a publication order form that we may contact you for future input, we may keep your contact information to ask you publication-related questions, such as how you use our materials or how we might improve them. You may ask us to remove your contact information at any time if you no longer wish to be contacted.

Cell Day

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Link to external Web site governs information gathered online from or about children under the age of 13. Teachers must obtain verifiable consent from a child's parent or guardian before a child under the age of 13 may participate in the Cell Day Web chat. Questions received during the Web chat will be reviewed and may be edited by NIGMS staff prior to posting online. Transcripts of posted questions and answers will be archived for educational purposes. If you submit a comment, your school name, city and state will be visible to anyone who views the Web site. Submission of information as a Web chat participant is voluntary.

Information This Web Site Collects

The NIGMS Web site uses a variety of Web measurement software tools, and specific information regarding their information collection methodologies can be found on their respective Web sites.

NIGMS retains the data from Webtrends, Google Analytics, and ACSI survey results as long as needed to support the mission of the Web site.


While visiting sites within the domain, you will encounter Web pages that employ “cookies.” A cookie is a small file that a Web site transfers to your computer's hard disk allowing our servers to "remember" specific information about your visit.

There are two types of cookies, single session (temporary) and multi-session (persistent). Session cookies last only as long as your Web browser is open. Once you close your browser, the cookie disappears. Persistent cookies are stored on your computer for longer periods. The Office of Management and Budget Memo, M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies Link to external Web site (PDF, 104KB), allows Federal agencies to use session and persistent cookies.

Session Cookies: We use session cookies within our publications site. These cookies let our server keep track of the items in your order. The OMB Memo 10-22 guidance defines our use of session cookies as "Usage Tier 1—Single Session." The policy says, "This tier encompasses any use of single session web measurement and customization technologies."

Persistent Cookies: We use persistent cookies to enable Webtrends, Google Analytics, and ForeSee to perform the activities described in the “About Information This Web Site Collects” section above. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to the NIGMS Web site until they expire. The persistent cookie that blocks repeated invitations to take the ACSI survey expires in 60 days. The OMB Memo 10-22 guidance defines our use of persistent cookies as "Usage Tier 2—Multi-session without Personally Identifiable Information (PII)." The policy says, "This tier encompasses any use of multi-session Web measurement and customization technologies when no PII is collected."

Requests to send cookies from NIGMS Web pages are not designed to collect information about you, but only about your browser "session." The kinds of session information the cookie collects include: operating system, browser type, domain from which you access the Internet, duration of your visit, pages visited, and date and time of your visit. This information helps us understand how visitors use our site and how we can improve it. The cookie also makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of our Web pages. Unless an NIGMS Web page specifically notifies you otherwise, we will not collect and maintain personal information about you.

To protect your privacy, be sure to close your browser completely after you have finished conducting business with a Web site that uses cookies. If you are concerned about the potential use of information gathered from your computer by cookies, you can set your browser to prompt you before it accepts a cookie. For information about opting out of common Web measurement and customization technologies, visit’s Web Measurement and Customization Opt-out Link to external Web site page. If you opt out of any technology the NIGMS Web site uses, you will still have access to the identical information and resources at the site as those who have not opted out.

Questions about the NIGMS Privacy Policy should be sent to The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Privacy Policy is at Questions about the NIH Privacy Policy should be sent to

This page last reviewed on June 21, 2012