This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Radioactive Emissions Essay

1870 words - 7 pages

Many illnesses that develop in the human body affect the function of tissues and organs on a cellular level within the body, where they are unfortunately difficult to detect. Cancers, for example can develop almost anywhere in the body and remain invisible externally. How then can a doctor know where the cancer has developed and how to combat it? This issue of the human body being opaque and medical conditions within the body being impossible to see is an issue to which science has been applied to devise a variety of solutions. One such solution is positron emission tomography.
Positron emission tomography is a medical imaging technology. As an imaging technique it is noninvasive, and among imaging techniques it is unique because it measures and monitors the functions of cells and structures in the body (Freudenrich). PET can map blood flow, oxygen use and glucose metabolism, thus enabling the detection of a variety of medical conditions such as aneurysms, tumors, organ malfunctions and brain disorders (Freudenrich). As a research tool, particularly in regards to the brain, and as a diagnostic tool often for cancer, PET is a highly regarded technology with a variety of useful applications.
Positron emission tomography follows the process shown in the flow chart and begins with the synthesis of a radiotracer. One commonly used radiotracer is fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a compound that is structurally identical to glucose except for the presence of fluorine-18 instead of a hydroxyl molecule (Sabbatini, “The PET Scan”). Fluorine-18 is a radioisotope of fluorine and decays by β+ decay, which allows it to be used for PET. The fluorine-18 is first synthesized in a particle accelerator, typically a cyclotron, where water rich with oxygen-18 is bombarded with protons (Sabbatini, “The Cyclotron and PET”). The net effect of the subsequent nuclear reaction is that of a neutron in the oxygen-18 nucleus becoming a proton, and because of this, fluorine-18 ions (18F-) are produced. These are collected and attached to deoxyglucose to form FDG. Other radiotracers are produced in the same way. The final radiotracer produced is then placed inside the body of the patient, typically intravenously, and is absorbed by the system as an analog of a material naturally found in the body, where it demonstrates the function and use by the system of the substance to which it is analogous (Vaska).
Radioisotopes used in PET radiotracers all experience β+ decay, and this is the operating principle behind PET. β+ decay is a form of radioactive emission, and occurs when an unstable nucleus attempts to correct an excess of protons. Neutrons and protons both consist of three smaller subatomic particles called quarks, of which there are two types to be found in nucleons: up quarks and down quarks (Duncan 274). A proton consists of two up quarks, each with a positive charge of ⅔ the magnitude of the charge of an electron, and one down quark, which has a negative charge of ⅓ the...

Find Another Essay On Radioactive Emissions

Nuclear Energy: A Harmful Clean Energy

1572 words - 6 pages Introduction To reduce the GHGs emissions and resolve the climate change is still a challenge, while the world is going to facing the running out of fossil fuels energy, yet the demand of energy keep increasing in these years. One efficient approach to solve the problem is to switch to the renewable energy or, nuclear energy indeed. The more people are hold against nuclear energy science the accident in Fukushima 2011, with stronger supporting

The Growing Demand for Energy Essay

1252 words - 5 pages Pittsburgh, he states that the principle risk associated with nuclear power arise form health effects of radiation. He argues that radioactive materials can come into contact with people principally through small releases during routine plant operation, accidents in nuclear power plants, accidents in transporting radioactive materials, and escape of radioactive wastes from confinement systems. The damaging effects of nuclear radiation were most

Waste and Energy

2317 words - 9 pages technology and the potential for recycling the wastes that are producedNuclear WasteAny activity that produces or uses radioactive materials generates radioactive waste. Mining, nuclear power generation, and various processes in industry, defense, medicine, and scientific research produce byproducts that include radioactive waste. Radioactive waste can be in gas, liquid or solid form, and its level of radioactivity can vary. The waste can remain

Nuclear Energy

959 words - 4 pages can generate electricity without carbon dioxide emissions, it has been identified as a potentially useful way to meet our energy needs in a "climate-friendly" manner. However, concerns over nuclear safety, the disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste, and the high cost of nuclear construction have hindered the development of this energy source. (Turk & Bensel, 2011) This is the basic idea behind a nuclear bomb. In a nuclear power plant, the

Nuclear Energy

925 words - 4 pages the potential to be safer and generate less radioactive waste than fission. These reactions appear potentially viable, though technically quite difficult and have yet to be created on a scale that could be used in a functional power plant. Fusion power has been under intense theoretical and experimental investigation since the 1950s. (http://reference.canadaspace.com) Another use of nuclear energy is already being used in the medical field

Nuclear Power Plants and Nuclear Energy

2258 words - 9 pages in damage being caused to the reactor core. This accident was caused from inexperience workers and problems from machines that should have been built differently. If there had been an actual instrument that provided the position of the valve the damages from this accident could have been far less. Inexperience and maintenance are problems that we cannot be having when we are dealing with radioactive material. This accident should have been

Lucy Taylor

830 words - 4 pages current flow through power lines. This process produces no emissions and runs on similar concepts to other energy sources, yet can be considered a ‘greener’ alternative. The source of the heat energy arises from two sources; primordial heat and radioactive decay. The outer crust of Earth acts as an insulate, containing the heat used for geothermal energy production. Primordial heat is believed to be the heat remnants from many years ago. A

The Issue of Transportation and the Environment

560 words - 3 pages Industrial Age, humans have been rapidly changing their modes of travel, and as this evolution continues, we use more and more of the resources around us. We have now reached a point where transportation is a dominant source of emissions and is responsible for their impacts on the environment. Therefore, transportation is a quintessential dimension in the concept of sustainability, which is predicted to become the main focus due to vehicle

Air Pollution

1114 words - 4 pages , coughing, or difficulty breathing, decreased lung function; aggravated asthma, development of chronic bronchitis; irregular heartbeat. People with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. (Boorse, D. F., Wright, R.T.) (2011). Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas emitted from combustion processes. The majority of carbon monoxide emissions to the air come from mobile

Nuclear Energy: Don’t be a Fossil Fool!

2508 words - 11 pages sentiments include the ideas that nuclear power poses numerous threats to people and the environment, including consequences of uranium mining, processing and transport, nuclear weapons proliferation or sabotage, and of radioactive nuclear waste; Reactors, due to their complexities, are more likely to fail and cause disasters. However, Nuclear power is a sustainable energy source which reduces carbon emissions, produces virtually no air

Nuclear Energy and Hydroelectric Energy: Pros and Cons

2325 words - 9 pages nuclear energy had been steadily rising until the fukushima disaster in Japan. This disaster caused nuclear energy usage and acceptance to drop drastically. Germany began phasing out nuclear energy and plan to have all reactors shutdown by 2022. Nuclear energy should be fully utilized because nuclear reactors have a high energy output, great longevity, and lower carbon dioxide emissions. Nuclear reactors can produce endless amounts of energy for a

Similar Essays

Radioactivity Essay

642 words - 3 pages Radioactive substances spontaneously emit rays that are similar to X-rays, however these rays are generated from the actual substances. These continual emissions can last for months at a time without outside assistance. An example of these natural substances are Uranium and radium, they are found in small quantities throughout the interior of the earth.Soon after the discovery of the X-ray, Henry Becquerel the effects of radioactive substances

Humans Effect On Nature In The 20th Century

1006 words - 4 pages nuclear cores in the warheads were to be ruptured, radioactive emissions would be close behind. Harmful effects have already shown themselves in affected waterways in the form of mutated frogs, fish, and other marine wildlife. The United States Navy has come up with a plan in recent years to deal with the problem. It proposes to “break the waste down”, and ship it of to cement plants where it would be incinerated and incorporated

The Effects Of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster On Humans And The Environment

956 words - 4 pages ) defined a nuclear accident as an accident that includes any activities that lead to the release of radioactive material and causes significant consequences. The location of Chernobyl city is in the north of Ukraine near the Belarus border. That nuclear accident happened when in reactor number 4 in the Chernobyl nuclear power in the Soviet Union exploded. Because of that extreme explosion, the radioactive emissions dispensed into the environment and

Atomic Enegy Essay

1765 words - 7 pages times the atomic bomb. The temperature produced by the bomb was 15 million degrees centigrade. The bomb also produced a fireball that measured 3.5 miles across. The mushroom cloud covered an area of over 100 miles. The radioactive fallout of the hydrogen bomb test site spread out for about 7,000 square miles. A few Japanese crewmen were injured ( World Book Enc. "85, 414, 415). In order for a hydrogen bomb to fuse, it needs a tremendous amount