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Life Atomic: A History of Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine

Angela N. H. Creager

Abstract

After World War II, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) began mass-producing radioisotopes in its Oak Ridge reactor, sending out nearly 64,000 shipments of radioactive materials to scientists and physicians by 1955. Even as the atomic bomb became the currency of the Cold War, radioisotopes represented the government’s efforts to harness power of the atom for peace—advancing medicine, domestic energy, and foreign relations. Radioisotopes provided physicians with new tools for diagnosis and therapy and equipped biologists to trace molecular transformations from metabolic pathways to ecosyste ... More

Keywords: radioisotopes, radioactive isotopes, Manhattan Project, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Oak Ridge, Biochemistry, Molecular biology, nuclear medicine, ecology, cancer

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780226017808
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226017945.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Angela N. H. Creager, author