Argonne National Laboratory

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Argonne National Laboratory is one of several National Laboratories in the United States where radiobiology experiments were performed. The radiobiology program at Argonne ended in 1991 after completing the Janus Mouse Experiments on 50,000 mice and the Beagle Dog Experiments on 5,000 beagle dogs.

Gray Book Description

Copied from: GB Gerber, CR Watson, T Sugahara, and S Okada. International Radiobiology Archives of Long-Term Animal Studies I. Descriptions of Participating Institutions and Studies (1996) ([1])

103 Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Center for Mechanistic Biology and Biotechnology, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439, USA, Tel: 708-252-3824, Fax: 708-252-3387

Contact Person: Dr. Bruce Carnes

Argonne National Laboratory and its predecessor the University of Chicago (Metallurgical Laboratory) were very active in radiobiological research from the 1940s through the 1990s. The early studies conducted by Brues and Sacher at the University of Chicago and by Lorenz at NCI (funded by the Metallurgical Laboratory) focused primarily on estimating a maximum permissible dose for X-rays and gamma-rays using a variety of mouse strains. Once the Division of Biological and Medical Research was established at Argonne National Laboratory in the 1950s, research shifted to issues of long-term injury, dose response, and interspecies comparisons. When the JANUS biomedical reactor became operational in 1970, a 22-year effort was begun to investigate the acute and chronic effects of neutron and gamma-ray exposure using the B6CF1 mouse. A documentation of the ANL mouse studies conducted between 1953 and 1992 has been described by D. Grahn in two ANL technical documents published in 1994 and 1995 and available through the NRA.

ANL began beagle experiments in 1956 with studies of strontium-90 conducted by Miriam Finkel. These were followed in 1960 by life-span studies of injected cerium-144, cesium-137, conducted by Thomas E. Fritz and William P. Norris. A large study of life-span effects of continuous exposure to Co-60 gamma-ray studies was initiated by Dr. Norris; this study was terminated in 1992, when remaining animals were transferred to ITRI. Study materials from the beagles are stored at ANL. Most tissue specimens have been discarded. Paraffin blocks and histopathology slides are available.

The Internal Emitter Program at Argonne was, for 25 years, the focal point of medical and dosimetric studies of the U.S. radium dial painters. Argonne’s study is the largest ever undertaken of the effects on humans of an internally deposited radioelement. One may argue that such a human epidemiology study is not, strictly speaking, a radiobiology study, and thus is inappropriate for inclusion in this document. However, we have elected to include it because so many radiobiology investigations were based on the premise that effects in animals could be extrapolated to humans by comparison of the effects of radium. A comprehensive review of the dial painter study, by R.E. Rowland, was published as a book by ANL in 1994. Research materials from the Internal Emitter Program are available at the United States Transuranium Registries.

Investigators associated with the ANL radiobiology studies were (in alphabetic order): J.S. Arnold, E.J. Ainsworth, A.M. Brues, B. A. Carnes, A. J. Finkle, M.P. Finkel, T.E. Fritz, R.J.M. Fry, S.A. Fry, D.J. Grdina, D. Grahn, L.V. Kaspar, A.T. Keane, S. Lesher, L.S. Lombard, W.B. Looney, W.P. Norris, R.E. Rowland, J. Rundo, G.A. Sacher, T.M. Seed, S.P. Stearner, R.G. Thomas, J.F. Thomson, R.E. Toohey, D.V. Tolle, and F.S. Williamson

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