Nav: Home

Ohio State research finds toilet stool may solve common bowel issues

January 09, 2019

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique that allows them to assess radiation exposure in about an hour using an insulator material found in most modern electronics. The technique can be used to triage medical cases in the event of a radiological disaster.

"If there is a large radiological event in a populated area, it would be difficult or impossible to treat everyone who could potentially have acute radiation syndrome," says Robert Hayes, an associate professor of nuclear engineering at NC State and first author of a paper on the work. "You'd need to be able to figure out who was exposed to enough radiation to require treatment."

The approach relies on testing crystalline insulators found in everything from thumb drives to smartphones. Because the technique is high-throughput, accurate and precise, it can adequately assess an individual's exposure in about an hour, Hayes says. Prior methods can take weeks.

"Given that health providers have a one- to two-week window to start treating victims of acute radiation syndrome, the technique should be sufficient to identify which patients require the necessary care," Hayes says. "It could not only identify individual cases of acute radiation syndrome, but also help authorities determine which geographic areas received the most radiation.

"But it's not just about identifying those that require care," Hayes says. "For example, our technique might have been useful in a place like Fukushima, for putting people's minds at ease. It's like having your own personal radiation detector."

The technique requires the insulator to be removed from its electronic device and cleaned. The sample is then placed in a thermally stimulated luminescence reader, which collects spectra relating to the number of electrons found in the flaws inherent to the sample's crystalline structure. That spectral data is then fed into a custom algorithm that calculates the sample's radiation exposure.

"This technique requires specialized equipment and expertise, so it's not something most locales would have on hand," Hayes says. "But labs like mine could run the tests and provide the authorities with good data very quickly. In addition to NC State, I know there's another lab with relevant expertise and infrastructure at Oklahoma State University, and one in Denmark, though there are likely others.

"Hopefully, this technique won't be necessary for a long time, if ever. But we think it's important to develop these tools before they are needed."
-end-
The paper, "Retrospective dosimetry at the natural background level with commercial surface mount resistors," is published in the journal Radiation Measurements. The paper was co-authored by Ryan O'Mara, a Ph.D. student at NC State. The work was done with support from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under grant number NRC-HQ-84-14-G-0059. The work was also done with support from NC State's Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities, which is sponsored by the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation R&D of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Related Radiation Articles:

A new way to monitor cancer radiation therapy doses
More than half of all cancer patients undergo radiation therapy and the dose is critical.
Nimotuzumab-cisplatin-radiation versus cisplatin-radiation in HPV negative oropharyngeal cancer
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 4: In this study, locally advanced head and neck cancer patients undergoing definitive chemoradiation were randomly allocated to weekly cisplatin - radiation {CRT arm} or nimotuzumab -weekly cisplatin -radiation {NCRT arm}.
Breaking up amino acids with radiation
A new experimental and theoretical study published in EPJ D has shown how the ions formed when electrons collide with one amino acid, glutamine, differ according to the energy of the colliding electrons.
Radiation breaks connections in the brain
One of the potentially life-altering side effects that patients experience after cranial radiotherapy for brain cancer is cognitive impairment.
Fragmenting ions and radiation sensitizers
The anti-cancer drug 5-fluorouracil (5FU) acts as a radiosensitizer: it is rapidly taken up into the DNA of cancer cells, making the cells more sensitive to radiotherapy.
'Seeing the light' behind radiation therapy
Delivering just the right dose of radiation for cancer patients is a delicate balance in their treatment regime.
Radiation contamination at a crematorium
Radioactive compounds known as radiopharmaceuticals are used in nuclear medicine procedures to diagnose and treat disease.
First study of terahertz radiation in liquids
A research team from ITMO University and the University of Rochester (the USA) conducted a study on the formation of terahertz radiation in liquids.
A new way to create Saturn's radiation belts
A team of international scientists from BAS, University of Iowa and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences has discovered a new method to explain how radiation belts are formed around the planet Saturn.
A better device for measuring electromagnetic radiation
Researchers have developed a better bolometer, a device for measuring electromagnetic radiation.
More Radiation News and Radiation Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Meditations on Loneliness
Original broadcast date: April 24, 2020. We're a social species now living in isolation. But loneliness was a problem well before this era of social distancing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we can live and make peace with loneliness. Guests on the show include author and illustrator Jonny Sun, psychologist Susan Pinker, architect Grace Kim, and writer Suleika Jaouad.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#565 The Great Wide Indoors
We're all spending a bit more time indoors this summer than we probably figured. But did you ever stop to think about why the places we live and work as designed the way they are? And how they could be designed better? We're talking with Emily Anthes about her new book "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of how Buildings Shape our Behavior, Health and Happiness".
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Third. A TED Talk.
Jad gives a TED talk about his life as a journalist and how Radiolab has evolved over the years. Here's how TED described it:How do you end a story? Host of Radiolab Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.Jad Nicholas Abumrad is a Lebanese-American radio host, composer and producer. He is the founder of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab, which is broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide and is downloaded more than 120 million times a year as a podcast. He also created More Perfect, a podcast that tells the stories behind the Supreme Court's most famous decisions. And most recently, Dolly Parton's America, a nine-episode podcast exploring the life and times of the iconic country music star. Abumrad has received three Peabody Awards and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011.