High sensitivity 14C-label studies in biology using accelerator mass spectrometry

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SR_1998-013-pdf
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Roberts, P.B.; Kim, K.J. 1998 High sensitivity 14C-label studies in biology using accelerator mass spectrometry. Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences science report 98/13 16 p.


Abstract: Examples are provided of the use of a method to detect 14C-labelled biomolecules at ultratrace levels. The method is capable of 1% precision on samples of a few micrograms to milligrams that contain only the natural 14C content of the material examined. This precision corresponds to about 10-16 moles of 14C per mg of total carbon. The method is, therefore, several orders of magnitude more sensitive than traditional methods that depend on radioactive decay counting. This great sensitivity is based on using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to count and detect the 14C. A new laboratory has been set up to prepare biological samples for AMS measurement. Examples of initial results obtained include measurement of a neurotoxin in brain tissue, a plant hormone in a kiwifruit vine, a carcinogen in liver and a dietary mutagen in blood. The potential applications of the method are outlined. (auth)