Safe Use of Radioisotopes
The use of radioisotopes to label specific molecules in a defined way has greatly advanced the discovery and dissection of biochemical pathways. The development of methods to inexpensively synthesize such tagged biological compounds on an industrial scale has enabled them to be used routinely in laboratory protocols, including many detailed in this manual. Although most of these protocols involve the use of only microcurie (mCi) amounts of radioactivity, some (particularly those describing the metabolic labeling of proteins or nucleic acids within cells) require amounts on the order of millicuries (mCi). In all cases where radioisotopes are used, depending on the quantity and nature of the isotope, certain precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of the investigator. It is essential to use good safety practices and proper protection to handle radioactive substances. This unit discusses storage, handling, and disposal of
Figure A.1D.1 Correlation of loss of radioactivity with elapsing half‐lives of an isotope.
Figure A.1D.3 (A) Box for cell incubation (a “cell house”). (B) Stationary leaded shield. (C) Sample storage rack and box made of 0.5‐in. Plexiglas. Abbreviations: ID, interior dimension.
Figure A.1D.4 Box for solid waste collection made of 0.5‐in. Plexiglas. Abbreviation: ID, interior dimension.
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