As mentioned earlier, radioactive materials are essential to many scientific research studies. They can be used to determine how well your body is working or whether there have been any disease symptoms. For example, doctors use gamma rays to see if bone has deteriorated due to certain diseases. Or they may use radioisotopes to diagnose or treat cancer.

You probably know some of these substances like radium or uranium. But what you might not realize is that most of them come from nature!

As we live closer to the Earth’s surface, we are exposed to less radiation than people living at higher elevations. This is why scientists often perform their experiments somewhere close to home where they can get similar exposure levels as students and professors.

The trick is to make sure that the student conducting the experiment does so properly. You don’t want to expose someone else to unsafe amounts of radiation! That would be bad – very bad.

It is important for teachers to understand this topic because education departments sometimes ask instructors to do something with radioactive material during the classroom setting.

Health effects

how are radioactive materials essential in scientific research

As mentioned earlier, radioactive materials are used for scientific research to determine how well your body works and what affects it. These studies are important as we develop new medicines and treatments for disease.

Many of these tests use radionuclides such as technetium-99m (Tc-99m) or iodine-131 (Iodine-131).

These two elements can be found naturally around us, but they are not present in high enough concentrations to have any significant effect. When studying health and medicine, however, you will come across them sometimes.

When that happens, professionals must either make an effort to avoid exposure or perform the test without using these radioisotopes.

Review processes

how are radioactive materials essential in scientific research

As mentioned earlier, research labs must go through an extensive review process to get funding for studies. This includes reviews of both your lab’s methodology and findings. These reviews are done by either people with no ties to the lab or members of the public that have no connection to the funded project.

Most academic institutions require at least two reviewers per project, making it very possible for multiple individuals to look into your work. Some will be more thorough than others, but they all play an integral part in ensuring that the projects you work on receive adequate attention.

There is always some degree of skepticism when researchers want money for their projects. General curiosity about new ideas can seem like a hurdle when trying to secure funds. Luckily, this is not only acceptable, but encouraged as a necessary step in our field!

Faculty and senior staff may feel too close to the researcher(s) seeking funding, so there are usually additional positions opened up for unbiased individuals to contribute to the project.

By having many different people assess your project, we are able to ensure that it has enough scrutiny without being influenced by personal connections.