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A Role for Long-Lived Isotopes in Biosciences using Accellerator MS

presented by

John S. Vogel
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

April 12, 1996

The Scripps Research Institute, W.M. Keck Foundation Amphitheater


Background:

Hailing originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, John Vogel began his higher education at Villanova University, where he received a B.S. degree in Physics and Honors Humanities in 1969. He continued in graduate study at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, completing a Master's program in Experimental Astrophysics in 1971. Dr. Vogel received his Ph.D. in the same discipline in 1977.Directly after the award of his Ph.D., Dr. Vogel did two years of post doctoral work in Space Physics at the University of Calgary and two more doing similar work at Washington University in St. Louis. Moving from outer space to earth, Dr. Vogel directed his energy toward archaelogical research at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. He remained here for the next eight years and in 1989, accepted an appointment as a Senior Research Scientist at the Lawrence Livermoore National Lab in Northern California, where he now continues his scientific pursuits.

Abstract:

Using mass spectrometric separation and nuclear counting techniques, accelerator MS (AMS) identifies and quantifies radioisotopes (with half-lives between 10 and 107 years) to attomole sensitivity in sub-milligram sized samples. Radiocarbon, trituim, and 129I provide labels to make stable and/or exact analogue chemical compounds for assays and extended in vivo studies. We use isotope-labeled natural toxins to obtain time and dose responses at levels 103-6 times lower than previoulsy achieved with other methods. Hyphenated AMS has been used to determine metabolites and active chemical species that bind to specific proteins or DNA at doses equal to a single cigarette or a single bite of cooked red meat. Many trace-nutrient or toxic elements also have long-lived radioisotopes that were unusable for tracing prior to AMS. With lifetimes longer than the human "three score and ten" by many orders of magnitude, these may now be used to trace physiological chemistry at safely small chemical and radiological doses.

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