Medicine: Precious Speck

An almost invisible speck of radioactive carbon—a millicurie*— became the first byproduct of atom-bomb-making to be released for medical research. Last week's buyer (at $367 plus handling charges and deposit on the bottle): the Barnard Skin and Cancer Hospital of St. Louis, which will use it only in research. It will not cure cancer.

Radioactive carbon is not new; "C-14" has been made in cyclotrons for seven years but in even more minute quantities and at far greater cost. Other elements can also be made radioactive, but C14 is the most useful for cancer...

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