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Dose Detectives: Device Analyzes Radiation Exposure through Teeth and Nails [Slide Show]

As Japanese officials caution the Fukushima region about low levels of radioactive elements in soil and plants, researchers develop devices to more easily measure exposure levels

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DOSIMETER

Swartz and his team are looking to make their dosimeters more sensitive and smaller so they can easily deployed in the field.....[ More ]

SENSING LOOP

The tip of a resonator is placed against a tooth, which it scans about a dozen times over a period of three minutes. Free radicals in that tooth will absorb some portion of this microwave radiation. The dosimeter can determine the level of free radicals by comparing the amount of microwave radiation emitted with the amount that is reflected.....[ More ]

HOLD STILL

Of the dosimeters Swartz and his team are developing, the one that measures exposure to ionizing radiation via the teeth is the furthest along. It consists of a magnet, a source of (harmless) microwave radiation, and a device that senses the reflected microwaves.....[ More ]

FULL SYSTEM VIEW

Harold Swartz and his colleagues at the Dartmouth Biodosimetry Center for Medical Countermeasures against Radiation are developing electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) dosimetry that can measure electromagnetic signals, or wave forms, given off by teeth (as well as by fingernails and toenails) of people exposed to radiation.....[ More ]

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