This chapter focuses on developments in E. O. Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory to illustrate the cyclotron-based system of radioisotope production. By 1940, biomedical uses of radioisotopes involved collaboration between physical scientists as providers and life scientists and physicians as users, a “moral economy” of gift exchange and shared credit. In Berkeley, biological research with sodium-24, phosphorus-32, and iodine-131 as tracers was connected to therapeutic experiments using these radioisotopes. The militarization of work in Lawrence’s Berkeley laboratory in the early 1940s constrained the availability of radioisotopes to physicians and scientists outside the Radiation Laboratory. In addition, new military priorities shaped the ongoing human experiments conducted by Lawrence’s colleagues (such as John Lawrence and Joseph Hamilton), as they began investigating the toxicity and metabolism of fission products for the Manhattan Project.
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