1. Of the three main radioacti

1. Of the three main radioactive emissions: alpha, beta, andgamma, which would be the least/most harmful to biology and why?Which would be the easiest/hardest to block and how?

2. In some medical procedures, radioactive isotopes are usedthat have very short half-lives. Why is this desirable and howwould these isotopes be obtained since none would be found insupply due to their short half-life?f

3. Different types of imaging – CT, PET, MRI – use differentmethods to obtain an image. How would those differences go indeciding what would be the best type of image to take? In otherwords, how would one decide which type of image would give the bestresult for a given situation?

Please no handwritten or picture responses – only typedreplies


1. Gamma rays have highest prenetration. So hardest to block.Most harmful to humans. Next are beta rays. Last are alpharays.

2.when radio active isotopes administered to body willaccumulate around certain type of cells like tumor or organ. Due totheir small half life, they disintegrate and emmit radiation whichcan be studied by imaging. If isotope has long half life thendoctor has to scan the body for a very long time to get properimage. These artificial isotopes are made in partical acceleratorsby colliding ions( eg is large hadron collider lhc).

3. Ct scan uses x rays to scan soft tissue like liver, lungs,tumors etc. Mri scan captures the magnetic fields and also usesradio waves to capture images. Pet scan uses radio active isotopesto make images of organs and tissues. The main deference betweenpet and other two is that, pet scan can also help understand themetabolic activity of scanned region. Depending on the requirementof part to be scanned different methods are used. Like brain scansare done by mri. But brain tumor scans are done by pet scan toidentify whether medication is altering metabolic activity oftumor. For a pnemonia patient lung scan is done by ct scan etc.

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