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:4/24/2014)... world,s oceans play a crucial role in the ... ecosystems and atmosphere. Now scientists at Scripps Institution ... a leap forward in understanding the microscopic underpinnings ... dioxide to make new cells, a substantial portion ... sea as a buffet of edible molecules collectively ...
(Date:4/24/2014)... EAST LANSING, Mich. --- New research shows that cells ... than scientists originally thought. Even when missing critical components, ... in an alternative way. , In a study published ... of researchers at Michigan State University showed that cells ... duplicate their DNA. , "Our genetic information is stored ...
(Date:4/24/2014)... pleased to announce that it has assumed ownership of ... University of Wisconsin. , The Journal of ... journal that publishes papers on all aspects of the ... molecular to the ecological -- as well as their ... individuals and institutions, and it provides a reasonably priced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Microscopic organism plays a big role in ocean carbon cycling, Scripps scientists discover 2Microscopic organism plays a big role in ocean carbon cycling, Scripps scientists discover 3Cell resiliency surprises scientists 2ESA to publish the Journal of Insect Science 2
(Date:1/14/2014)... January 14, 2014 In recent years, ... and methods in product development and promotion has led ... This mistrust, fueled by concerns about the insidious impact ... reports of spectacular fines to the world’s biggest pharmas ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Global Record Systems, LLC, (GRS), a ... for patients, physicians, the biopharmaceutical industry, regulators, payers, ... signing of a three-year Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) ... This initiative is designed to generate disruptive ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Bellingham, Washington, USA, and Cardiff, UK (PRWEB) January 13, ... and photonics technology development leader with more than 20 ... international society for optics and photonics . Hainsey will ... “We are delighted to have Dr. Hainsey join SPIE ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... 14, 2014 During the 1600’s through the ... “The Doctor’s Plague.” In this time period, doctors did not ... at times, to the death of vulnerable patients. In the ... that they may be unwittingly transmitting herpes viruses to their ...
Breaking Biology Technology:The Sunshine Act: Necessary Regulation or Unnecessary Dysregulation? New Life Science Webinar Hosted by Xtalks and IRB Services 2The Sunshine Act: Necessary Regulation or Unnecessary Dysregulation? New Life Science Webinar Hosted by Xtalks and IRB Services 3Global Record Systems Announces Research Collaboration Agreement with FDA to Create a Novel “Big Data” Paradigm for Collection of Patient Safety and Outcomes Information 2Photonics R&D Leader Bob Hainsey Joins SPIE Technical Staff 2Study: Fatigued Medical Interns Infect Their Patients with Herpes Viruses; The CBCD Sees a Parallel with “The Doctor’s Plague” 2Study: Fatigued Medical Interns Infect Their Patients with Herpes Viruses; The CBCD Sees a Parallel with “The Doctor’s Plague” 3
Cached News: