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ORGANIZATION, OBJECTIVES AND PROGRESS OF THE CBCC W.R. Kirner Chemical-Biological Coordination Center National Research Council Washington. D. C.
126 On entering the auditorium this morning each of you received a small green booklet entitled "The Chemical-Biological Coordination Center of the National Research Council". This booklet, written by the staff, describes in some detail the History, Organization and Objectives of the Center together with a description of the procedures which have been developed for the assembly and organization of chemical-biological data. These procedures involve the use of data sheets, prepared by our abstracters, chemical card files, a chemical code and biological codes and punched cards. Some examples are given to illustrate the way the Center utilizes these facilities in answering questions concerning chemical-biological correlation. Dr. Marsh of West Virginia University will elaborate on this problem in his discussion of antihistamines and Dr. Anderson of the American Cyanamid Co. in his discussion of antithyroid compounds. We are extremely grateful to both of these gentlemen for their contribution to this portion of the Center's participation in the Symposium. Information is provided regarding the screening program which is being sponsored by the Center and the booklet contains a list of the publications which have been issued by the Center, to date. Incidentally, these publications are displayed in a case in the lobby on the left as you make your exit from the auditorium. The booklet also provides infor- mation on the organizations and individuals who are eligible to utilize the Center's facilities, and the present limitations of the service it can render. I hope that each of you who received a copy of this booklet will read it carefully. There are a few points which I would like to emphasize. The Center will be four years old on July 1, 1950. The major portion of this time has been spent in developing the procedures which are now in use. We have about fifty-five thousand data sheets in our files which contain chemical-biologi- cal information on some nineteen thousand chemicals. These data have been taken from declassi- fied war reports, which are not generally available, from our screening program, from unpublished reports solicited from government, university and industrial laboratories and from current, selected scientific periodicals. Our abstracters are routinely preparing data sheets from about one hundred and fifty selected journals starting with January 1946. An analysis of chemical-biological literature made by our staff indicates that if this list is extended to two hundred and fifty journals the Center will be in position to record over ninety per cent of the "useful" chemical-biological data. In order to cover an additional one hundred journals and also to include the literature prior to 1946 we need the services of additional abstracters. The Center reimburses its abstracters at a fixed rate per data sheet prepared. If you know of qualified biologists who would be interested in cooperating with this program we would be very pleased to receive their names. Each of the chemicals listed on the data sheets have been coded by the Chemical Code which will be described by Dr. Geer. We also have three sets of chemical card files which are filed by serial number order, by empirical formula and by their Chemical Abstracts name so that it is relatively easy to locate data sheets for any chemical. A good start has been made in coding the biological data on the data sheets by the new detailed biological code which Dr. Beard will describe and a large fraction of the data sheets have been coded by the General Biological Code. Much of the coded data are contained on punched cards in our files and hence available for machine use. In regard to the screening program the Center has made about twenty-five hundred com- pounds available to the thirty-odd laboratories which are cooperating in this phase of its activity and it has received about forty-five hundred.reports on their biological actions. About fifty of these compounds have possessed sufficiently interesting activities to warrant further investi- gation. In addition to providing compounds to our regular screening agencies the Center is also furnishing selected chemicals to a group of virus investigators and also to a group of biochemists. I want to take this opportunity to publicly express the thanks of the Center's staff to Dr. Winternitz, Chairman of the Center's Executive and Advisory Committees, who originally conceived the idea of organizing the Center, to the members of these committees, and to the seventy-five members of the Center's subcommittees and panels for the outstanding service and cooperation which they have rendered to the Center during the four years of its existence. The Center is a fine example of team work between chemists and biologists. Finally, I wish to express the Center's sincere appreciation to the agencies which are providing the financial support for its activities. These include the Chemical Corps, the Corps of Engineers, the Surgeon General's Office and the Quartermaster Corps of the Department of the Army, the Medical Sciences Division of the Office of Naval Research, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute of the U.S. Public Health Service. Without their generous support this entire development as well as this Symposium would not have been possible.