BOC Sciences Release: Isotope Is Applied In Tracking Alaska Salmon

Published: May 22, 2015

Since the year of 1946, in which the first successful application of radioactive isotope for medical use was made. It was carbon 14 sample that the reactor produced on August 2nd , 1946, and later the first sample was transferred to a hospital in St. Louis. It has been nearly 70 years from the first application of isotope and there are huge changes happened in the last several decades for it. Easier access, and more common than it was, but the most significant change of isotope is that now it can be used in other field out of medical research.

Recently, it’s reported that isotope could help scientists to track the Alaska salmons and protect them from extinction. This is the picture that the first radioactive isotope was collected from the reactor. From the picture we can judge that the sight was kind of solemn and great, as the two scientists’ wears were kind of formal. The isotope in the ear bone of the salmon from Alaska’s Bristol Bay can be analyzed to track the fish. Thus the wildlife resource manager can know where they were born, where did they usually live, whilst the most important aim is to find the answer of the question that how to protect them from the endangered situation by change something.

Analysis of the chemicals in different layers of a certain region in the ear bone can get the information needed to track them. The layers will increase yearly with the growth of their bodies just like the tree. And the element works in the tracking is strontium. The amount of strontium isotopes differ from layer to layer. The ratio of the isotopes is the foundation information of the track, which is because that the geography has a very strong impact on the distinct element and its isotope and by comparing the element of the ear bone region with the water, result will be obvious.

Thus it can be easily judged that what kind of living environment a fish has experienced and the birthplace of it, with which measures can be taken to protect the endangered Alaska salmon from the origin and the living environment. Applying isotope tracking in other field will be a trend. It can be used to probe more about the nature, and discovery more meaningful things. The advantage that isotope tracking is kind of safe and environmentally-friendly for the targets, if no isotope should be implanted like the salmon tracking, can’t be ignored.

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