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February 21st, 2012

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03:21 pm - I love living in the future.
Vancouver scientist discovers way to crack Molybdenum-100 into Technetium-99 in a standard hospital cyclotron - which is to say, he's found a way to replace Chalk River in the medical isotopes business.

Which is important, because Chalk River is already running on borrowed time.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 21st, 2012 10:07 pm (UTC)
Necessity is the mother of invention. Interesting that Canadian hospitals seem to favour the larger cyclotrons; I guess it's just an effect of greater urbanization.
[User Picture]
Date:February 22nd, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
While I'm in favor of multiple redundancy (and thus decentralization) when it comes to medical facilities, cyclotrons are one of those things where I'll compromise my principles.

I have no idea if they're more efficient, or if the personnel to operate them are difficult to come by and thus we just can't operate lots of little ones - but I do like that smaller numbers of bigger ones makes it less likely someone does something stupid - like forget the radioactive material in a decommissioned hospital (see the Goiânia accident for where I get this particular horror). That specific accident probably won't happen again any time soon, but it's still a general case of "more kicking around, more exposure to idiots to do stupid things".
[User Picture]
Date:February 26th, 2012 10:38 am (UTC)
On the other hand, if we're going to give our patients the best diagnostics, we're going to need cyclotrones in smaller hospitals, too. We have to send our patients that need PET-CT to the regional hospital, because the isotopes used decay too fast to be transported here. (Which, of course, means that the patients in our county gets fewer PET-CT scans than the patients in the same county as the regional hospital.)

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