NIH lab space plagued by vibrations

Sensitive instruments may be unusable in large sections of the new gerontology and drug addiction research facilities

Ted Agres
Oct 17, 2006
More than a third of the laboratory space in a new, $250 million intramural biomedical research center for the National Institute on Aging (NIA) may be unusable for the intended research because of problems with excessive building vibration. The center, which is being constructed at Johns Hopkins University's Bayview Campus in Southeast Baltimore, suffers from vibrations from a variety of sources, including elevators and ventilation shafts. The problem could hamper use of more than 150 microscopes, lasers, cell counters, imagers, and other pieces of equipment, jeopardizing research activities in up to 35 percent of the planned laboratory space, scientists and consultants warn.The 10-story facility is intended to replace NIH's nearby three-story Gerontology Research Center, providing more than 500,000 square feet of laboratory, vivarium, clinical research, library, and office space for nearly 1,000 scientists and staff from NIA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). "The issue involves moving...

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