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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the planning committee responsible for the workshop were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
The study was supported by Contract No. HHSP23320042509XI, Task Order No. 05 between the National Academy of Sciences and the United States Department of Health and Human Services; by Grant No. 59-0790-5-183 from the United States Department of Agriculture; by Contract No. 4500096095 with Health Canada; and by a grant from the Candian Institues of Health Research (through Simon Frasier University). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
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The serpent has been a symbol of long life, healing, and knowledge among almost all cultures and religions since the beginning of recorded history. The serpent adopted as a logotype by the Institute of Medicine is a relief carving from ancient Greece, now held by the Staatliche Museen in Berlin.