Scientists at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated how to image samples of heavy elements as small as a single nanogram. The new approach will help scientists advance new technologies for medical imaging and cancer therapies.
Since element 99 – einsteinium – was discovered in 1952 at Berkeley Lab from the debris of the first hydrogen bomb, scientists have performed very few experiments with it because it is so hard to create and is exceptionally radioactive. A team of Berkeley Lab chemists has overcome these obstacles to report the first study characterizing some of its properties, opening the door to a better understanding of the remaining transuranic elements of the actinide series.
Researchers from Berkeley Lab and Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed new methods for the large-scale production, purification, and use of the radioisotope cerium-134, which could serve as a PET imaging radioisotope for a highly targeted cancer treatment known as alpha-particle therapy.