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June 21, 1958


JAMA. 1958;167(8):1030-1031. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990250102020

CLINICAL APPLICATION OF RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES  Radium and x-raysbeen used for 60 years as a routine part of radiolradiologicewer radioisotopes differ in no essential way except that they are artificially produced in a nuclear reactor. With proper precautions their use should be as safe, or safer.As an indication of the popularity of isotopes, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory has dispensed over 100,000 curies of isotopes—equivalent pounds of radium (less 3pounds of actual radium is available in the world today).

Physical Aspects  Radioactivity implies atomic nuclear change that results in the emission of rays from the atom. A sample of a given element placed for a suitably short time in a nuclear reactor becomes transformed usually to a radioactive form of the same element. This is usually brought about by a shift in the number and relationship of the neutrons and protons in the orbit of the atom.For example, a

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