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Report of program activities : National Institutes of Health. Division of Research Services (Volume 1968) online

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MeA^aiors: All of the elevators on the reservation, except those in the newest
buildings still tinder builder's responsibility, were brought under formal pre-
ventive maintenance procedures under which M inspections are made to uncover
deficiencies, hopefully to prevent breakdowns. This does not apply to elevators
in Buildings 10 and 31, which are maintained by contract.

Completion of Ma.i'or Pro.i'ects : Several major constnaction projects were carried
through to completion during the year, as follows:

Project Accepted for Beneficial Occupancy

Libraiy Addition to Clinical

Center March 3, 1968

Cafeteria Addition to Clinical Accepted for partial occupancy
Center January 26, 1968

Laboratoiy Refrigerato rs: The first two shipments of 50 each of an improved
model undercounter laboratory refrigerator were received and are carried as
stock items under the shop stores system. The refrigerators are single-
temperature (no freezer compartment), six-foot capacity, sized to be com-
patible with standard laboratory furniture and having an explosion- proof
interior and other safety features.

Ultra-loYif Temperature Freezers : In recent years there has been a great
amount of administrative confusion and technical difficulty in obtaining
warranty repairs on Toltra-low temperature freezers. Arrangements were worked
out with the Supply Management Branch under which FEB is to be the sole con-
tact point for requesting freezer repairs, both during and after the warranty
periods. Maintenance history and cost records will be maintained to use in
evaluating reliability of the various manufacturers' models.

Electrical Outlets in Corridors: In collaboration with the NIH Safety Office,
standard details were developed for providing adequate load protection for
electrical outlets supplying power to laboratory equipment permitted to re-
main in corridors.

Freezers in Buildijog 10 : The Branch assisted OD in surveying the require-
ments for freezer space in the Clinical Center, which resulted in a program
being approved which allows a limited number of freezers to be permitted in
corridors and freight elevator lobbies. Suitable space was also made avail-
able and provided with electrical power for long-term freezer storage on the
third floor of Building I4A for many of the freezers which could not be
accommodated in Building 10.

Organization : The Grounds Maintenance and Landscaping Section was reorganized
slightly during the year. The reorganization consisted mainly of redefining
functions and consolidation of the former Pavement Maintenance Unit with the
Heavy Equipment Unit. A landscape architectural draftsman was hired to assist
in development of master landscaping plans to be implemented when completion
of major construction projects will permit. The master plans, covering both
the main reservation in Bethesda and NIHAC, are expected to be completed by
July 1968.


With the completion nearing for Buildings 35, 36 and 37, a satellite \mit of
building engineers was established under the South Buildings Unit to handle
the operation and minor maintenance of utility systems in these buildings.
The group operates out of quarters in Building 37 to obtain greater producti-
vity of manpower.

NIHA.C Grp-unds : Early in the year a shelter belt of coniferous evergreens was
planted at NIHAC by contract along Elmer School and Club Hollow Roads.
Several losses occurred during the winter. The plants concerned are covered
by maintenance and warranty clauses of the contract and will be replaced by
the contractor.

Employee-Management Relations : During FY 1967, the Washington Area Metal
Trades Council, AFL-CIO was given exclusive recognition for a second bar-
gaining unit — all wage board employees of the Shops Section. The Council
previously had been recognized for the Grounds Maintenance & Landscaping
Section, and a formal agreement was negotiated several years ago. Negotia-
tions for the Shops Section agreement were completed on April 18, 1968. The
Council has indicated its desire to renegotiate several sections of the
Grounds Maintenance agreement, particularly those clauses dealing with train-
ing and promotions. The negotiations are expected to be completed by the end
of the fiscal year.

Training ; The Branch supported approximately 550 man-days of formal training
in FY 1968, or roughly one man-day per employee. A total of 128 individuals,
or 22 percent of the total work force, participated in the training.

In-service and interagency training accounted for 446 man-days, consisting
primarily of a formal refrigeration and air conditioning course taught with-
in the Branch, and a newly inaugurated series of courses conducted by the
staff of the Grounds Maintenance and Landscaping Section. The first of
these, entitled "Plant Life" is being attended by 27 individuals. ALso
notable are a course for first-line supervisors, conducted by a psychiatrist
from NIMH, and a course conducted for the Branch by the Montgomery Coimty
Board of Education, aimed at providing basic education to prepare employees
having a minimum formal education for the journeyman helper's examination.

Non-government training accounted for 110 man-days, including ICS corres-
pondence courses, courses for professional engineers, training in refriger-
ation and air conditioning controls, specialized training on turf grasses, ,

D; Problems

Incinerator ; In FY 1967 new Rotoclone exhaust gas scrubbers were installed
in the incinerator plant to eliminate the release of fly ash and other particles
into the atmosphere. Basically, the scrubbers perform satisfactorily for their
intended purpose, but major maintenance problems have arisen which were not
foreseen either by the NIH staff or consultants retained to design the system.
Because of the high acidity of the effluent, there has been considerable cor-
rosion to waste lines and scrubber components, requiring replacement. Efforts
are under way to determine the requirements to keep the units in operation


until the new incinerator is constructed and operational, at which time the
present incinerator is to be abandoned. These problems may be typical of
what may be expected -under impact of the air pollution control program when
applied to incinerators of similar size and design operated by state, county,
and local governments, as well as by private industrial firms.

Grounds: The general condition of the grounds leaves much to be desired.
The large amount of trenching and building constmction, with the accompany-
ing stock-piles of supplies, materials, and debris, has kept a major part of
the campus in an "eyesore" condition for the past year. (ML has expended
much labor attempting to save valuable materials by transplanting trees and
shrubbery from construction areas to other areas. Many more hours were spent
giving special attention to large trees remaining within construction areas,
in an effort to preserve these valuable assets weakened by grade and water
table changes, physical abuse, and a very dry winter.

During a good part of the year, CML had to operate with a reduced supervisoiy
staff and shortages in other categories. Under these conditions the plan,
to take "first things first", resiilted in having to forego the custcmaiy
"polish" in undisturbed areas, the usual mark of well-kept grounds.

Uniforms : When Government- furnished uniforms first were provided for FEB
wage board employees about eighteen months ago, a few employees were found
to have skin sensitivities to them. At first this was believed to be caused
by washing procedures but later was traced to some agent in the cloth. During
FY 1968, new uniforms were obtained for employees experiencing irritation.
■ Replacements will all be of the new type. Evidence to date indicates that
the new materials do not cause skin irritation.

Safety Shoes : For several years the Branch, in cooperation with the NIH
Safety Office, has been trying to establish a safety shoe program, a simple
and inexpensive means for employees to buy safety shoes and be properly
fitted at- NIH. "Several administrative difficulties have prevented going
ahead with this program but interim arrangements have been made with one
maniifacturer to provide samples. During the past several months an appre-
ciable number of employees have ordered safety shoes, and those received have
been highly satisfactory.

Master Utility Extension Contract: During the year the project to extend
underground steam and chilled water lines has required extensive trenching
operations. Where the trenches have run near the older buildings, consider-
able problems typical of this type construction have developed. Breaks in
cables supplying street lighting circuits have been almost a daily occurrence,
and some street lighting circuits were out of service for extended periods
of time. Other major utility interruptions were as follows:

(a) On July 23, 1967, the contractor broke an 3- inch water line located
east of Building 3, which affected Buildings 3 and 21. Station forces iso-
lated the break and pumped out the trench so the contractor cotdd make the
repair. About 4 inches of water flooded the east basement of Building 3,
but no serious damage to equipment occurred.


(b) In October, the contractor broke a gas line to Building 9 while ex-
cavating the steam trench in Parking Lot IB behind Building 1. Gas service
to the building was secured for one and one-half days while repairs were

(c) On January 30, 1968, the concrete encasement housing high voltage
feeders 1, 1/,., 33, and 4-2 across an open ditch over the new steam line at
the northeast comer of Building 3 collapsed. The weight of the concrete
put a strain on these cables which supplied power to Buildings 3, 7, 8, 9,
12, and 16. To avoid the possibility of a cable failure which could have
caused loss of power to these buildings for an extended period, power through
the cables was shut off for a period of about 8 hours while the concrete
encasement was removed and the strain on the cables relieved. During this
time the above buildings were partially supplied with emergency power from
gasoline and diesel generators. During the next two weeks the cables were
replaced, one at a time, without any power outage to any of the buildings.

(d) On March 26, 1968, while excavating aroimd the thmist block on the
chilled water line east of Building 12A, the contractor broke a vent line.
Quick action by Power Plant personnel in closing the 20- inch chilled water
valves to this section of the line prevented a large loss of water from the
chilled water system.

Personnel Levels ; Some difficulties were experienced during the year in
recruiting skilled personnel to fill vacancies. The problem was complicated
by several "freeze" periods when new employees coiild not be hired. Recruit-
ing efforts were stepped up in the third and fourth quarters, and it is
expected that the year will end with most of the critical needs filled.

As of April 30, 1968, there were on board 570 employees, an increase of 31
over the 539 who were on board on July 1, 1967. During this period, 75 new
personnel came on board, and 4'+ were lost through deaths, transfers, retire-
ments, resignations, etc.

The comparative on-board figures, by section are as follows:

July - 1967 May - 1968

O/C 12 O/C 12

EDS 28 EDS 29


PCS 32 PCS 31

Constr. 13 Constr. 13

MES 234 MES 262

Shops rO Shops YU

Total 539 Total 570

Shop Stores 21 Shop Stores 25

E. Program Plans


Operatin g Plans ; Long- and short-range plans used to direct the day-to-day
Tausiness of the Branch include: (a) operating budget and related reports;
(b) dally reports from the preventive maintenance system as needed to generate
the maintenance needs requiring immediate attention, and monthly and annual
reports for major repair and improvement program plans; (c) weekly workload
reports which reflect the estimated craft labor requirements by trade; (d)
monthly workload reports which reflect the estimated engineering manpower
requirements for engineering services by discipline; (e) weekly personnel
status reports which report the available manpower by organizational iinit
resulting from personnel attrition and recruitment; and (f) monthly Shop
Stores status reports.

F. Publications

A feature article prepared by a planner of the Grounds Maintenance and
Landscaping Section was published in a nationally-distributed periodical:

Rosenkranz, George P.: Midwinter Weed Control —
useful practice for National Institutes of Health.
Weeds ^ Trees and Turf - 6: 18-19, Oct. 1967



Summary of Branch Activities July 1, 1967, through June 30, 1968



The Laboratory Aids Branch constitutes a basic central research resource of
fundamental importance to the intramural research programs of the National
Institutes of Health. Its responsibilities include producing genetically
characterized research animals and animals of known microbial flora and
health status; procuring, conditioning, and issuing animals obtained from
outside sources; animal surgery. X-ray, and recovery; animal disease diag-
nosis and control; maintaining animals and collecting biological specimens;
preparing bacteriologic and tissue culture media, tissue culture cells, and
laboratory glassware; and providing professional services relative to animal
procurement, health, care, and husbandry. Additionally, the Branch is
responsible for conducting studies necessary to advancing the definition of
experimental animals, their health, and optimum maintenance.

Major emphasis was placed upon data processing of production and animal issue
information in order to achieve greater efficiency in the utilization of
limited production facilities. Additional efforts were made to establish
more meaningful communications with the Institutes and Divisions regarding
their current and future requirements for experimental animals. Efforts to
improve the quality of all animals furnished to intramural research programs
were continued and intensified. For the first year in recent history, the
rodent and rabbit production colonies experienced no major outbreaks of
disease. Significant improvements in the quality of the random source dogs
and cats issued were noted and are directly attributable to the lengthening of
the conditioning period from 30 to 45 days.

A development of singular importance, the successful establishment of a large
colony of donor dogs to furnish whole blood, has resulted in a significant
reduction in the numbers of dogs required for research purposes at NIH. The
furnishing of blood, coupled with improvements in the health status of
conditioned random source dogs, reduced the needs for dogs by 786 animals.
Projected dog issues for the year will be 3,612, the fewest number of dogs
issued since FY 1960.


Production of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits

A. Objectives

To support biomedical research at NIH by providing quality rodents and rabbits
of uniform genetic and health characteristics. To advance the definition of
what constitutes satisfactory experimental rodents and rabbits.


B. Current Programs

"1. Production Frogram

Major emphasis was placed on data processing of production and animal issue
information in order to achieve greater efficiency in the utilization of
limited production facilities. Additional efforts were made to establish
more meaningful communications with the Institutes and Divisions regarding
their current and future requirements for experimental animals.

2. Genetics Program

This program is designed to maintain the genetic integrity and desired
features of the foundation inbred strains of mice, rats, and guinea pigs;
and to support the production effort by providing genetically controlled
breeding stock for the production colonies.

C. Program Pro gress and Accomplishments

Production and issue of rodents and rabbits was at the maximum permissible
level consistent with adequate housing of animals within the limited pro-
duction facilities which are available. Improvements in management and care
practices resulted in a production year free of any major disease outbreaks

An intensified program of nutrition research was initiated through the
addition of a staff nutritionist and the establishment of a nutrition
laboratory. Efforts will continue to more specifically define the dietary
requirements of the several species maintained and produced in order to
eliminate the necessity for feeding a variety of vegetable supplements.
Some progress was made in this regard, and all supplements have been dis-
continued for the mice and rat production colonies. More rigid inspection
and disinfecting procedures have been continued for the supplements being
fed to the guinea pig and hamster colonies.

Updating and improvements to caging systems have been continued, and new and
improved caging, including those with filter tops, are under continuing

Disposable waste receptacles are now utilized in all rat and mouse rooms.
Use of these containers eliminates the necessity for having GI cans in the
rooms and precludes the introduction of foreign microorganisms through
improperly cleaned GI cans.

D. Problems

Existing and anticipated demands for animals in the face of limited production
capacity causes real doubt about the availability of animals for research
needs in the immediate future. Production facilities approved for the Animal
Center under Phase II were reduced by 50 percent, and the remaining portion
is still some six years away. During this same period, available laboratory
space will be increased by some 40 percent.


E. Program Plans

Hopefully, the production space presently occupied by the Division of
Biologies Standards in Building 14D and the production rooms occupied by
the National Cancer Institute in Building 14E will be returned to the
Laboratory Aids Branch for programming and utilization as rodent and rabbit
production facilities. Return of this space will permit an estimated increase
of 15 percent in our production capabilities. A small isolation facility for
housing new rodent and rabbit foundation stocks and strains has been requested
for FY 1969 at the Animal Center. This facility is urgently needed for
meeting requests for establishing and producing new strains and stocks to
meet specific research requirements. All incoming strains and stocks will be
isolated for three generations in this facility, to preclude the introduction
of diseases into our production colonies.

The installation of a new vacuum exhaust system on the Building 14A cagewash
and the improvement of the existing vacuum system on the Building 14F cagewash
during FY 1969 will permit a significant improvement in cage cleaning practices.
When operational, these vacuum systems at the cagewashers will eliminate the
practice of dumping soiled bedding from animal cages within the production
rooms. This will decrease the dust level in the animal rooms and allow
personnel to give more direct attention and time to the animals.

Production of Special Animals

A. Objectives

To furnish intramural iTesearch programs with laboratory animals whose
associated flora and fauna is defined in some specific manner, i.e., germfree,
pathogen- free, RTF-free, etc. To develop Systems and methods for more
efficient production and use of a greater variety of these animals.

B. Current Programs

Four strains of germfree mice and four strains of germfree rats are being
produced in stainless steel and flexible plastic isolators. One additional
strain of mice and three additional strains of rats were introduced into
the barrier rooms during the past year. A total of five strains of mice and
four strains of rats are now maintained and produced in the SPF state.

Work is continuing in an effort to establish the hamster in the germfree state.
Initial work is also underway to gain experience with the germfree cat and
rabbit. A modest program was undertaken during the year to establish the
Hartley guinea pig in the SPF state. Our work to date has been somewhat
encouraging, and 30 guinea pigs are now in the SPF state. This work will be
continued and, when satisfactory procedures are established, a group of
Strain 13 inbred guinea pigs will be introduced into the SPF barrier in order
to provide greater health security to this strain.


C. Program Progress and Accomplishments

The flexible plastic isolators for housing the RIF-free chickens have been
placed in full operation in the Building 14G facility. They have proven
satisfactory, and no contamination problems have been experienced. Additional
caging for rats and mice is on order, and when received and operational, will
permit a higher level of utilization of the Building 14G SPF facility.

D. Problems

A further delay was experienced in getting the new RIF-free chicken facility
operational at the Animal Center. Partial occupancy was achieved during the
year, and full production should be achieved during FY 1969.

Success in establishing the hamster in the germfree state continues to be
delayed, though ultimate success is expected. Enlarged cecum syndrome
continues to be a problem with guinea pigs in both the germfree and SPF states.

E. Program Plans

Development work will be expanded to include more intensive efforts with the
cat and rabbit. The work with the hamster and guinea pig will be continued.
Additional strains of rats and mice will be introduced into the germfree and
SPF state in order to gain production data prior to the construction and
occupancy of the Phase II SPF rodent facility.

Production of Laboratory Carnivores and Canine Blood

A. Objectives

To produce laboratory cats and dogs of defined characteristics to meet
intramural research requirements. To reduce the overall needs for dogs by
supplying blood from a canine donor colony.

B. Current Programs

The canine blood donor colony, which was established in July 1966, has been
expanded from the original 25 dogs to 113 dogs, with a production capacity
of 158 units of blood per month. The laboratories which have been using
blood from these animals have been enthusiastic in their acceptance of it.
The current short-term objective is to expand the colony to about 200 dogs,
which is equivalent to conditioning 140 dogs for issue each month. Expansion
involves the addition of new dogs to the colony and replacement of those which
have undesirable characteristics. The source of replacements is the breeding
colony maintained at Building T-8. Dogs comprising the blood donor colony are
being selected for uniformly large size, good temperament, and A negative blood
group .

The original breeding colony of white hounds has been largely replaced by
American foxhounds. The breeding program is confined to production and
intensive selection of dogs to improve the genetic characteristics of the


colony. A significant number of the dogs produced serve as additions and
replacements for the blood donor colony.

Three English foxhounds were added to the colony, and limited matings have
been made. A small number of dogs of this breed are maintained as a nucleus
from which to expand. Thirteen inbred beagles were also introduced into
the colony.

The. contract for rearing American foxhounds was renewed. The breeding level
originally planned, 100 females, will be achieved in FY 1969. Production is
expected to achieve 400 research dogs during the current contract year.

The cat breeding colony consists of about 30 breeding females. Cats are
subject to intensive culling procedures in order to establish a high producing
colony with uniform characteristics. Substantial progress has been made in
attaining this goal.

C. Program Progress and Accomplishments

Blood issues will be approximately 850 units for the year (=425 dogs). The
number of puppies produced is expected to be about 390, and kittens, 140,

Renovations in Building T-8 were completed this year, resulting in increased
and improved personnel, laboratory, office, and storage space. The acquisition
of adequate laboratory equipment and personnel this year will permit more in-
depth studies to be made on the dogs and cats maintained in the colony.

D. Problems

The beagles, American and English foxhounds represent the full range of dog
sizes required for research use. Production of meaningful numbers of dogs
for this purpose, however, is not possible in the temporary facilities
available. Likewise, the cat colony cannot be expanded. The blood donor

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Online LibraryNational Institutes of Health(U.S.). Division of RReport of program activities : National Institutes of Health. Division of Research Services (Volume 1968) → online text (page 4 of 10)