A future for nuclear analytical techniques? Why not?

Bode, P.
May 2004
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;May2004, Vol. 379 Issue 2, p181
Academic Journal
The choices of universities and national research institutions in supporting scientific research are increasingly justified on the basis of, amongst others, the relevance that has to be reflected by external, preferably sustainable funding of the research programs. Many traditional fields of application such as environmental sciences do not offer a promising outlook in this respect. As a consequence, university research reactors face closure because of reallocations of university funds to more contemporary sciences such as molecular biology and nanotechnology. Therefore, laboratories operating nuclear analytical techniques (NAA, (TR)XRF, and PIXE) need to use their creativity in finding ways for participation in, for example, nanotechnology, cancer research, or genomics. This requires an open mind in terms of the opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses of the techniques, and a departure of technique-oriented research towards problem-oriented research in which other nuclear techniques can be used. The unique features of radiotracers, nuclear imaging, and nuclear beam techniques are discussed in view of the new areas mentioned above. Some examples of opportunities for nuclear analytical techniques in the above-mentioned fields are given.


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