|MadSci Network: Medicine|
Nuclear science and technology improves our life in many ways and in many different areas and not just through medical applications. It makes our food safer; it improves the quality of tools, gauges, and machines; it diagnoses abnormalities of the metabolism and treats cancers; it powers space applications; and it offers one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly ways of generating electricity. To simply list all the contributions radiation, or more appropriately radiation sources, have made to mankind, it would produce an enormous list. I have listed at least one web site from each of the major categories radiation is a key benefit or use. There are probably hundreds more. In fact, there are some areas I may have forgotten about or just do not know about yet. With technology advancing as quickly as it does, procedures, medication, and every day processes can change practically over night. Radioactive material and radiation sources are found in a significant portion of our lives. For example there are smoke detectors, self-illuminating exit signs, and a limited number of computer cells with radioactive material for current generation. In the medical world, there are diagnostic and therapeutic uses for various radioactive isotopes, as well as the long standard x-ray use. Radiation sources and materials are used to irradiate our food and surgical instruments to make them safer. Radiation is also used in industry as a level and density gauge and some times a component in the hardening of certain materials. In addition, radioactive carbon dating and other non-destructive testing using radiation allow us to discover our past and gain details of our history. Again, these are just a few websites listing the benefits and uses of radiation. There are no endorsements of any kind inferred by this website list - itís just some sites offer better, more clear and understandable information. General Information Sites: http://hps.org/publicinformation/radfactsheets http://www.aboutnuclear.org/home.cgi http://www.uic.com.au/ral.htm http://www.iaea.or.at/worldatom/Press/Booklets/ Irradiators: http://www.food-irradiation.com/ http://www.iaea.or.at/worldatom/Press/Booklets/foodirradiation.pdf http://accelconf.web.cern.ch/AccelConf/p89/PDF/PAC1989_0153.PDF http://www.mdsnordion.com/master_dex.asp?page_id=21 http://www.mds.nordion.com/documents/Pallet_Brochure.pdf Medial Sites: General - http://www.wramc.amedd.army.mil/departments/nuclear/ - http://www.rad.washington.edu/sectionsites.html Gamma Knife - http://www.sdgkc.com/about_gn/about_gn.htm Medical Imaging/Diagnostics - http://web.wn.net/~usr/ricter/web/imgproc.html - http://www.vh.org/navigation/vh/textbooks/adult_patient_radiology.html - http://www.ge.com/en/product/business/healthcare.htm - http://www.biomed.org/pet.html - http://www.nuc.ucla.edu/html_docs/frame_pet.html Treatments - http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/ETO_1.asp - http://lunis.luc.edu/nucmed/tutorial/radpharm/ - http://www.endocrineweb.com/thyroidca.html - http://www.iarc.fr/ - http://www.plwc.org/plwc/ Industrial Sites: http://www.troxlerlabs.com/ http://www.asnt.org/learning/links.htm http://www.nuc.ucla.edu/html_docs/frame_pet.html NASA: http://kids.msfc.nasa.gov/defaultNoFlash.asp Nuclear Power: http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Andes/6180/ http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/students.html http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/teachers.html Carbon Dating and Non-destructive Testing for Archeological purposes: http://www.howstuffworks.com/carbon-14.htm http://www.dc.peachnet.edu/~pgore/geology/geo102/radio.htm http://vcourseware4.calstatela.edu/VirtualDating/ http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/archaeology/dating/index.shtml I hope these references will assist in answering your question. Just keep an open mind and think of all the possibilities radiation can be used, then search the Internet. I just bet you may find many other uses for radiation and radioactive materials. If you have any additional questions, you may contact me directly at BDB1@nrc.gov.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Medicine.