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In developed countries (a quarter of the world population) about one person in 50 uses diagnostic nuclear medicine each year, and the frequency of therapy with radioisotopes is about one-tenth of this.
Nuclear medicine uses radiation to provide information about the functioning of a person's specific organs, or to treat disease.
The attributes of naturally decaying atoms, known as radioisotopes, give rise to several applications across many aspects of modern day life (see also information paper on The Many Uses of Nuclear Technology).
There is widespread awareness of the use of radiation and radioisotopes in medicine, particularly for diagnosis (identification) and therapy (treatment) of various medical conditions.
That's what we've believed for some time - but recent research makes us wonder if this is true after all.
In the case of carbon-14, its atomic number, which refers to number of protons has an addition of one, while its atomic mass, which refers to total of protons and neutrons, is the same. Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years, and it is commonly used for radioactive dating.
The process of determining the age of previously living organisms is called radioactive dating.
In some cases radiation can be used to treat diseased organs, or tumours.
Five Nobel Laureates have been closely involved with the use of radioactive tracers in medicine.