Science: Hot Antlers

ANTLERS NEEDED, read the notice in the bulletin of New Mexico's Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Dr Ernest C. Anderson of Los Alamos' Biomedical Research Group wants elk or deer antlers, asks prospective donors to describe their antlers first by letter, giving year and place where they were collected.

Fact is that antlers are superb collectors of radioactive fallout. Like bones, antlers are made largely of calcium compounds, and radioactive strontium behaves chemically like calcium. Deer ingest strontium with their forage. In slowly maturing humans, only a small part of the skeleton is built each year, and therefore human...

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