HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Study: tree coring seems to be quicker, cheaper method of measuring radiation

CHAPEL HILL Monitoring uranium contamination by drilling wells costs a lot, but a new study suggests it may be possible to do the same monitoring far more cheaply by coring trees on potentially radioactive sites.

Dr. Drew Coleman, assistant professor of geologic sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his graduate student Michael Bulleri conducted the study. They presented their results today (Nov. 5) at a national meeting of the Geological Society of America in Boston.

"Based on work I did earlier, we set out to determine if we could monitor near-surface water contamination around a depleted uranium weapons manufacturing site outside Concord, Mass., by measuring uranium concentrations in the living parts of trees growing nearby," Coleman said.

Mikes results have been fantastic. By testing the sapwood the living parts of oak trees he cored close to the site -- he has found a definite bulls-eye pattern around the site where the concentration goes up the closer one gets to it.

Bulleri took all their samples on public and private lands surrounding the facility, which used to be owned by Nuclear Metals Inc. and has been owned by the Starmet Corp. since 1997.

The two tested samples using a thermal ionization mass spectrometer at UNC and a technique known as isotope dilution. They could distinguish between natural uranium from the soil and depleted uranium contamination by measuring the ratios of uranium 238 to uranium 235 in each sample.

Natural uranium has a ratio of 137.88 atoms of 238 for every one atom of 235, Coleman said. The depleted form what is left over after an enrichment process used for making nuclear fuels and bombs has a ratio of about 500 to one.

Trees suck up water beneath the ground and store the radioactivity it contains for many years, he said. Comparing isotopes allows researchers to pinpoint the radioactive contaminations source and level.

We found theres
'"/>

Contact: David Williamson
david_williamson@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
5-Nov-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Study: Emission of smog ingredients from trees is increasing rapidly
2. Study: A little help from friends makes wounds heal faster
3. Study: Mothers turn fearless when peptide level drops
4. Study: Artificial sweetener may disrupt bodys ability to count calories
5. Study: Mimicking viruses may provide new way to defeat them
6. Study: Stroke victims may retain continuous motion ability
7. Study: Adults maintain significant improvement in ADHD with long-term use of amphetamine
8. Study: Prenatal screening in Haiti region cut syphilis by 75 percent
9. Study: Isoflavone-enriched soy proteins fail to increase bone mineral density in young women
10. Study: Genome-wide scanning unravels complex birth defect
11. Study: Higher energy intake, obesity affects all age groups, not just youths

Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/17/2014)... the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston ... treated with radiation for cervical cancer should begin ... , The UTMB researchers, finding a high incidence ... treated with radiation, offer new recommendations that the ... screening about eight years after their initial cervical ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... led by the Australian National University (ANU), have ... and deep-sea temperature variability over the past 5.3 ... understand the climate surrounding ice ages over the ... the relationship between carbon dioxide levels, global temperatures ... University of Southampton (UoS) and the National Oceanography ...
(Date:4/16/2014)... 20-year assessment of Nicaragua,s legal, artisanal green sea turtle ... catch rates of turtles in what may have become ... Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Florida. , During ... 170,000 green turtles were killed between 1991 and 2011, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Radiation therapy for cervical cancer increases risk for colorectal cancer 2Ancient sea-levels give new clues on ice ages 2Declining catch rates in Caribbean green turtle fishery may be result of overfishing 2Declining catch rates in Caribbean green turtle fishery may be result of overfishing 3
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014  Bill Jacobs Automotive, a group of car dealerships headquartered ... the Heartland Blood Center and offering free oil change coupons ... place Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Bill Jacobs Cadillac and ... (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140115/MN46637 )  The Bill Jacobs ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... JOSE, California , January 15, 2014 ... cancer, today announced the appointment of Thomas C Reynolds MD, ... 20 years, development experience gained in the biotechnology industry, most ... "I am delighted to welcome Tom at this transformative time ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... Two champions of science, technology, engineering, and ... annual competition for middle and high school students designed ... study. The competition presents students with real-world problems experienced ... Mathematics, and Sciences is a program administered by ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 AudioNotch is the internet's leading ... the treatment of tinnitus. Patients listen to sound therapy ... a period of weeks to months, their tinnitus volume decreases. ... forms: Notched Music and Notched White Noise. Now, AudioNotch is ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Join the Bill Jacobs Auto blood drive and receive a free oil change 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 3Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 2Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 3Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 4Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 5
Cached News: