Science: The Radioactive Dogs

The world's biggest kennel of inbred beagles is "Beagleville," on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. It has another distinction: most of its 450 beagles are radioactive. Their job under an Atomic Energy Commission contract is to determine the "burden" of radioactivity that a beagle (or human) body can carry for a lifetime without damage. The dogs are injected with graduated amounts of plutonium, radium, radiothorium or mesothorium. These elements accumulate in the bones and bombard tender cells with damaging alpha particles.

The injected dogs are watched with eagle-eyed care. Their urine and feces are examined with...

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