PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plant research with radioactive tracers. Researcher using a pyrolyser to help determine the amount of tritium in a sample (in the ice bath, lower right). This is part of a study of the uptake of tritium by plants. Tritium is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It can be used as a radioactive tracer in plant experiments, but it is also a pollutant produced by nuclear power stations and nuclear research centres. Pyrolysers use heat to break up a sample into its constituent parts. This work is being carried out by the UK's Health Protection Agency.
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