DOE Openness: Human Radiation Experiments: Roadmap to the Project
3a laboratory set up at the UC Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley during the 1930s specifically to conduct experiments in medical physics. For an inside view of Donner Laboratory's role, programs, personalities, and day-to-day operations, see DOE/EH-0479, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Donner Lab Administrator Baird G. Whaley (September 1995).
4Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is a multiprogram research laboratory owned by the Department of Energy and located on 5,300 acres on Long Island near Upton, New York. BNL is managed and operated by a consortium of universities known as Associated Universities, Inc., under contract with DOE. BNL conducts basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as selected energy technologies.
5Hardin B. Jones, M.D., was a physician who worked with John Lawrence at the Donner Laboratory, Berkeley. He was an early associate of John Lawrence's. He studied isotope applications in nuclear medicine and showed uptake of iodine-131 by human and bovine thyroids. Regarded as an excellent experimentalist, Jones became the scientific assistant director of Donner Laboratory and led a research group. He was a member of the National Advisory Committee on Radiation of the Federal Radiation Council. See "Reflections on Hardin Jones" in DOE/EH-0476, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Physiologist Nello Pace, Ph.D. (June 1995).
6From 1946 to 1967, Pace served at UC Berkeley as a research associate for the Division of Medical Physics and a professor of Physiology, chairing the Department of Physiology from 1964 to 1967. He established the White Mountain Research Station near Bishop, California in 1950, where he worked from 1950 to 1977. In 1977, he became an emeritus professor of Physiology at UC Berkeley. Pace's research interests were in gravitational physiology, environmental physiology, and body composition. See DOE/EH-0476, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Physiologist Nello Pace, Ph.D. (June 1995).
7William Emil Siri, (1919), a physicist, worked on the Manhattan Project at UC Berkeley from 1943 to 1945. Afterward he conducted research at Donner Laboratory. Siri researched the application of radioisotopes to biology and medicine. He also studied high-altitude physiology, leading expeditions to the Peruvian Andes, the Himalaya Mountains, and Antarctica.
8Ernest L. Dobson, Ph.D., was a biophysicist who was born in Beijing, China, in 1914 and became a U.S. citizen. He worked as a physiologist at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory from 1946 until his death, conducting research on the physiology of the circulatory system.
9R. Lowry Dobson, Ph.D., M.D., is a physician who was born in Beijing, China, in 1919 and became a U.S. citizen. He was a research fellow at Donner Laboratory and Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (at UC Berkeley) and was chief medical officer until 1958. Additionally, he was a senior scientist in the Biomedical Sciences Division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, conducting research on the health effects of exposure to environmental agents, radiation, and internal radionuclides.
10Dr. John Lawrence, brother of Ernest O. Lawrence, was Director of the Division of Medical Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He operated a clinic at Donner Laboratory, where he treated leukemia and polycythemia vera patients with radioactive phosphorus.
16Tobias was a professor of medical physics and radiology at the Donner Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Tobias's main research focused on the biological effects of radiation; cancer research; and space medicine. For the transcript of the interview with Tobias, see DOE/EH-0480, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Biophysicist Cornelius A. Tobias, Ph.D. (July 1995).
17Joseph Hamilton, an M.D., worked at Crocker Laboratory, then the site of a 60-inch cyclotron that he operated to produce radioisotopes in support of research and some medical diagnosis and treatment. Crocker was part of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory.
19During World War II, the Manhattan Project had built a vast complex of highly classified facilities in and near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to process uranium for use in atomic bombs. The Atomic Energy Commission took control of these facilities upon its creation and, today, they belong to the Department of Energy. For producing weapons-grade plutonium, the reactor design installed at Oak Ridge proved to be significantly less efficient than an alternative Manhattan Project design at Hanford Site. After World War II, a decision was made to make Oak Ridge the principal source for reactor-produced radioisotopes, a mission to which the Oak Ridge Reactor was well-suited.
20Theodore T. Puck, D.Sc. (born 1916), a biophysicist and geneticist who was a research professor of biochemistry, biophysics, and genetics at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver from 1948 until his retirement. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of numerous awards and medals. He developed principles of somatic cell genetics and genetic biochemistry and events leading to cancer.
21Leo E. Farr, M.D. (born 1907), a research physician who worked at the Rockefeller Institute Hospital (193440). He subsequently served as director of research at du Pont Nemour Foundation, Wilmington, Delaware (194042, 194648). He worked at the Naval Medical Research Institute (194246); headed the medical research center at Brookhaven (194862), worked at M.D. Anderson Hospital, University of Houston (196267); and organized emergency medical services for the State of California Department of Public Health, Berkeley (196773). Dr. Farr conducted research on kidney disease; nephrosis; protein metabolism; electrolyte imbalance; blood substitutes; deep-sea diving and submarine medicine; and the development of applications of nuclear science to medicine. At Brookhaven, Dr. Farr was Robertson's first supervisor and worked with Dr. William Sweet on the boron neutron capture program for treatment of brain tumors.
22J.B. Horner (Desmond) Kuper (born 1909), a physicist and electronics engineer who conducted research on spectrophotometer development, Geiger counters, and other radiation detection instrumentation. He served at the Radiation Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (194146). Subsequently, at Brookhaven, he headed the Electronics Division; chaired the Instrumentation and Health Physics Department (194770); served as assistant to the Laboratory Director; and served as a consultant. Marietta Kuper, administrative officer to BNL Director Leland Hayworth, was married to Desmond Kuper.
24Brain tumor patients were injected with a discrete amount of boron that was intended to deposit in the tumor. The tumor was then bombarded with a beam of neutrons that was directed to the boron in the hope of destroying the tumor.
25From 1951 to 1961, Brookhaven conducted boron neutron capture therapy on 45 patients. All were suffering from aggressive and otherwise untreatable types of brain tumors; all had received conventional radiation treatments. The therapy was unsuccessful. Patients so-treated generally lived only as long as patients with the same types of brain tumor who were treated with conventional radiation therapies. The work was funded by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Source: Human Radiation Experiments Associated with the U.S. Department of Energy and Its Predecessors (213 pages), DOE/EH-0491, July 1995.
26William H. Sweet, M.D., D.Sc. (born 1910), was a neurosurgeon at Harvard University Medical School from 1940 until his retirement in the late 1970s. He conducted research on the central nervous system, brain fluids, treatment of brain tumors, mechanisms of pain, and behavior relating to brain disease. During the 1950s, Dr. Sweet conducted research using boron neutron capture therapy in conjunction with Brookhaven National Laboratory.
27Gordon L. Brownell, Ph.D. (born 1922), conducted research on the imaging of positron-emitting radionuclides and computerized axial tomography, and the dosimetry effects of ionizing radiation. He served as a medical physicist and professor of nuclear engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brownell was a lecturer at Harvard Medical School. From 1950 to the present he has been a physicist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
29Robertson is referring to neutron activation analysis. When an element is introduced into a nuclear reactor, radioactive isotopes will be produced as neutrons are captured into the nucleus of the element's atoms. By measuring the radioactive emissions of these isotopes, scientists can more easily identify the irradiated elements.
38Dr. Lewis Dahl, M.D., a physician (internal medicine) who worked at the Rockefeller Institute before transferring to Brookhaven. He studied the relationship between salt metabolism and hypertension.
39George Cotzias, M.D., son of the mayor of Athens (an anti-Nazi) during the occupation of Greece by the Germans. Educated at Harvard, Cotzias went on to work at Brookhaven circa 1952. He is noted for his work on manganese poisoning and Parkinson's disease, and for urging the use of high-dose L-dopa to help control Parkinson's.
40a neurologic disease believed to be caused by deterioration of the brain cells that produce dopamine, occurring primarily after the age of 60, and characterized by tremors (especially of the fingers and hands), muscle rigidity, and a shuffling gait
42one of three clinical facilities created by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1948. While the AEC owned the 58-bed Chicago hospital, the University of Chicago medical school administered and staffed the facility. Patients were admitted on a selective basis: physicians chose persons whose condition best suited the hospital's research and treatment applications. The hospital admitted its first patient in January 1953. The Energy Research and Development Administration terminated Government support for Argonne and the other AEC-created research hospitals in 1974, three years after the hospital's name was changed to the Franklin McLean Institute. The facilities are now used by the university's medical school for studies in radiology and hematology.
43Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies, established in 1946 by the Manhattan Engineer District and operated under a Manhattan Project (and later Atomic Energy Commission) contract. ORINS was responsible for training physicians and researchers in the safe handling of radioisotopes and in the development of isotope applications in medicine. In addition, ORINS was responsible for selecting both students and established scientists for fellowships and other temporary research assignments.
47Rulon W. Rawson, M.D. (born 1908), a physician and specialist in diseases and physiology of the thyroid and thyroid cancer. He served at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital (193848), Cornell University (Ithaca, New York), and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (194854). He was vice president of the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (195867). His research interests were in the use of radionuclides for treatment of thyroid disease.
53a heavily shielded room designed for work with radioactive materials. The technician usually stays outside of the room and manipulates the materials by remote-controlled robotic arms to process radioactive chemicals.
54a pilot graphite reactor and plutonium production plant at Oak Ridge, built by Du Pont. The X-10 pile was a graphite cube, 24 feet square. It had been drilled with 1,248 channels that could be loaded with uranium slugs. Large fans blew cooling air through these channels. (Source: Richard Rhodes; The Making of the Atomic Bomb; New York: Simon and Schuster; 1986, p. 547)
57residents of the Marshall Islands, a group of 34 atolls in the west central Pacific where the United States performed atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons in the 1950s. Since 1986 the Marshall Islands have been a self-governing area associated with the United States.
58Edward L. Alpen, Ph.D. (born 1922), a radiobiologist and physiologist who conducted research on radiation biology, cellular kinetics, and regulation of erythropoiesis. He served as biophysicist, division head at Hanford Laboratories, and Director of the Pacific Northwest Laboratory in Richland, Washington (195575), and as professor of medical physics and assistant director of the Donner Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley (1975 until retirement). For recollections of Alpen's tenure at Donner, see DOE/EH-0479, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Donner Lab Administrator Baird G. Whaley (September 1995).
59Victor P. Bond, M.D. (1919), was a radiation biophysicist with the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (194855) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (starting 1955). He conducted research on the biological effects of radiation. At Brookhaven, he conducted pioneering research in bone marrow transplants and served as an Associate Laboratory Director.
60Stanton H. Cohn, Ph.D. (born 1920), was a physiologist and chemist at Argonne National Laboratory (194649), a radiobiologist at the Crocker Laboratory of the University of California (194950) and Naval Research Laboratory (195070), and head of the Medical Physics Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory (1970 until his retirement). He conducted research on mineral metabolism in bone, biological distribution and effects of internally deposited radionuclides, whole-body neutron activation analysis, and whole-body counting.
61A hydrogen bomb test, Bravo was the first shot in the Castle Series. Detonated March 1, 1954, the size of the blast and amount of radiation produced was said by the AEC to have been far greater than planned. Test personnel, Marshallese islanders, and the crew of a Japanese fishing vessel received fallout from the Bravo Test. Source: DOE/EH-0445, Human Radiation Experiments: The Department of Energy Roadmap to the Story and the Records (February 1995).
64For a researcher's account of the field trip to assess the fallout effect on the Rongelap islanders, see "Cleanup of the Nevada Test Site and Marshall Islanders" in DOE/EH-0463, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Health Physicist William J. Bair, Ph.D. (June 1995).
65Robert A. Conard, M.D. (born 1913), was a medical scientist with the U.S. Navy and the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (194156) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (195679). He conducted environmental health studies among the Marshallese exposed to radioactive fallout.
71any of several cancers of the bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of white blood cells in the tissues, resulting in anemia, increased susceptibility to infection, and impaired blood clotting
73Advances in technology that deliver higher concentrations of boron to tumor tissues for potentially improved therapy have brought about the return of boron neutron capture therapy. As a result, Brookhaven is currently involved in BNCT research and clinical trials.
75Created in 1949 as the National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS), INEL has served as the test site for prototypes of many reactor designs in wide use today. INEL now operates the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) for engineering studies, and focuses on waste disposal and remediation technology.
76an experimental reactor built at the National Reactor Testing Station near Idaho Falls, Idaho. Its original purpose was to simulate extreme operating conditions and to aid in the study of reactor physics.
77Arthur Soloway, Ph.D., was a chemist from Massachusetts General Hospital who synthesized the boron cage used to deliver boron atoms to brain tumors during early studies on boron neutron capture therapy at Brookhaven.
79New treatment modalities may be attempted on the basis of emergency or "compassionate" need. Food and Drug Administration approval is needed for further clinical trials after an application has been accepted for an "investigational new drug" (IND), radiopharmaceutical, or procedure.
81Irving Ariel, M.D., a physician at the Memorial Hospital (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) in New York City who was interested in combinations of radiation and surgery for treating abdominal cancers. He collaborated with Brookhaven scientists to develop palladium for irradiation after surgery.
82Harold L. Atkins, M.D. (born 1926), a physician in nuclear medicine at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Atkins collaborated in radiation research with the medical department at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
85a radioactive, luminous white, metallic element that occurs in very small quantities in combination with minerals. Radium had been used in treating cancer. At that time, no radioisotope had been more thoroughly characterized for its biomedical effects.
86A pioneer in radiation therapy, Robert Stone, M.D., had conducted human radiation studies before World War II. He was an early researcher at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory and became a major figure in radiobiology research. When Joseph Hamilton began operating his 60-inch cyclotron at Crocker Laboratory, Stone requested that fission products be made on the cyclotron and that their fate in mammals be systematically studied in small animals. That information would be used for radiation protection proposes. In 1942, while chairing the Department of Radiology at UC San Francisco's medical school, Stone was recruited to lead the Medical Division of the Manhattan Project, overseeing all biological, medical, and radiological protection research. Accordingly, he moved to the University of Chicago, where he served as Associate Director for Health under Arthur Compton. In the 1950s, after serving in the Atomic Energy Commission, Stone returned to his post at the UC San Francisco as head of the Department of Radiology. Under Stone, UCSF acquired a 70-MeV synchrotron for conducting therapeutic research.
90the branch of medicine dealing with the statistics of incidence and prevalence of disease in large populations and with detection of the source and cause of epidemics; also: the factors contributing to the presence of absence of a disease
92positron emission tomography (PET) scannera device that produces computerized three-dimensional images of biochemical activity in the brain or other organ through use of radioactive tracers that emit positrons and twin 0.511-MeV gamma rays; the detectors measured the accompanying 0.511-Mev gamma rays emitted during positron decay.
93Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory was a key research and development center for the Manhattan Project. Nuclear bombs were assembled there before and during the Cold War. It has been a research and development center for nuclear weapon designs. Renamed Los Alamos National Laboratory, it is now a part of the U.S. Department of Energy, operated by the University of California.
97Anger cameras, large, flat circular crystals of thallium-activated sodium iodide, backed with photomultiplier tubes arranged in honeycomb geometry, for obtaining an image of gamma emitting pharmaceutical in the patient; named for its inventor, Hal Anger, of the University of California at Berkeley. The cameras are still widely used in modern nuclear medicine clinics to image gamma-emitting radiopharmaceuticals used in the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases.
98Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)a detector system resembling a gamma camera that rotates around a central axis; computer algorithms generate a two-dimensional image by analyzing photon attenuations from a radioactive source material distributed nonuniformity in the patient.
99For the transcript of the December 30, 1994, interview with Hubner, see DOE/EH-0470, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Hematologist Karl F. Hubner, M.D. (September 1995).
100From 1951 to 1977, Durbin worked as a chemist and radiobiologist at the Crocker Laboratory of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory). For the transcript of the November 11, 1994, interview with Durbin, see DOE/EH-0458, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Dr. Patricia Wallace Durbin, Ph.D. (June 1995). Durbin discusses her strontium research in three sections of her interview: "Potential Influences of Monkey Studies in Strontium Metabolism in Humans," "Human Strontium Injection Studies," and "Study of Calcium and Strontium Metabolism in Human Infants."
101From 1958 to 1959, scientists at the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory and at UC Berkeley's Donner Laboratory collaborated in a study of lean-body weight and skeletal size in humans. The purpose of this study was to determine reference values for normal, healthy individuals. Thirty-one healthy Navy personnel served as subjects for a study of lean-body weight, total-body water, and skeletal size. See LBL-75, "Estimates of Lean-Body Weight and Skeletal Size Using Tritium and X-Rays," in Human Radiation Experiments Associated with the U.S. Department of Energy and Its Predecessors (213 pages), DOE/EH-0491, July 1995.
102The bends are caused by tiny air bubbles released into tissue by a too-rapid decrease in air pressure after staying in a compressed atmosphere, such as the too-rapid ascent of a diver from deep in the sea to normal atmosphere at sea level. It is potentially fatal.
104Eugene P. Cronkite, M.D. (born 1914), a physician and hematologist at the Naval Medical Research Institute (194654) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (195479). He conducted research on control of hemopoiesis in health and disease conditions.
106Acute lymphoblastic leukemia comprises 90 percent of childhood leukemia, but is uncommon in adults. It is manifested by elevated white blood cell counts and blasts in circulation, and causes fatigue, bone pain, bleeding, and easy bruising.
107for example, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, an accumulation of immunologically incompetent lymphocytes in the circulatory system, leading to enlarged spleen, fatigue, increased susceptibility to infections, and conversion to high-grade lymphoma
109The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sought to determine whether astronauts should be protected from the radiation flux in the Van Allen belts and from radiation in space in the event of a highly energetic stellar event (such as a supernova). Such exposures, NASA calculated, would amount to about 1.5 roentgens (R) per hour. Some LETBI patients would receive similar rates of exposure for days at a time, as astronauts might. Accordingly, NASA paid ORINS to report on the effects of such exposure on patients in order to develop techniques that could be used to diagnose whether an astronaut was developing radiation sickness. The funding led to charges that NASA was dictating the exposure rates that the LETBI staff administered to patients. See "NASA Support for LETBI Research" in the Vodopick transcript (DOE/EH-0482, August 1995), and "NASA-Sponsored Studies" and "Questioning the Propriety of NASA-Funded Studies" in the Lushbaugh transcript (DOE/EH-0453, April 1995).
110Clarence Lushbaugh directed the Low-Exposure-Rate Total Body Irradiator (LETBI) facility. For contrasting views on the medical ethics of those studies, see DOE/EH-0475, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Health Physicist Karl Z. Morgan, Ph.D. (June 1995) and DOE/EH-0453, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Pathologist Clarence Lushbaugh, M.D. (April 1995).
112For a discussion of the Oak Ridge bone-marrow transplant research, see DOE/EH-0453, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Pathologist Clarence Lushbaugh, M.D. (April 1995).
115Pi mesons (or pions) are subatomic particles responsible for the strong interactions between protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei. Mesons occur in pairs, and are liberated during the high-energy bombardment in accelerators. They have very high energy (140 MeV to 10,000 MeV) and are short-lived. Researchers have used pi mesons for cancer therapy with some success. See "Pion Irradiation Therapy at Los Alamos (1974)" in the Voelz transcript (DOE/EH-0454), May 1995. and "Grilly's Comments on Negative Perceptions of Los Alamos and of Radiation Research" in the Julie Langham Grilly transcript (DOE/EH-0469, September 1995).