Science: Tale of Three Tubes

From the Mayo Clinic came a breathless story of a hunt for three lost tubes of almost priceless radium.

The tiny tubes, an inch and a quarter long, had been thrown out with a trayful of dressings. The search built up gradually. Staff members, using a Geiger-Müller Counter (an instrument for detecting radioactive rays), successively poked into the incinerator, the laundry, the garbage, wastepaper baskets, the hospital floors, roofs, foundations. No luck.

The hospital, thoroughly alarmed, called a council of its whole biophysical staff, insurance investigators, city engineers. Soon they were in full cry through the town, taking Geiger-Müller soundings in doctors', nurses'...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!