The nucleus of an atom contains protons and neutrons. However, some atoms of the same chemical element can have varying numbers of neutrons, giving so-called isotopes of that element. Most elements have both stable and radioactive isotopes. Radioactive isotopes of an element are commonly used as tracers in medical, biological, and industrial studies to gain information about physical and mechanical processes. In geology and archaeology, radioactive isotopes are used to determine the age of a sample while hydrologists can use isotope signatures to distinguish between different groundwater types.
In the health sector, isotopes are used for the diagnosis of heart disease, locomotive disorders and cancer, for therapy and palliative applications. Every year more than 30 million medical treatments and over 100 million laboratory tests are carried out using isotopes. In the environmental field, isotopes are used for the measurement of air and water pollution, and to understand effects and risks to public health and environment from certain management scenarios for radioactive waste. In the field of industrial safety, radioisotopes are used to detect flaws in steel sections used for bridge and jet airliner construction, and to check the welds on pipes, tanks and other structures. In consumer protection and safety, isotopes are used to study the quality of foodstuffs and their metabolisation by humans.
Aidan Gilligan | alfa
UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion
16.11.2018 | University of New Hampshire
NASA keeps watch over space explosions
16.11.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
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09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation