Carbon 14 useful radioactive dating not nuclear medicine
Recent puzzling observations of tiny variations in nuclear decay rates have led some to question the science behind carbon-14 dating and similar techniques.
However scientists tested the hypothesis that solar radiation might affect the rate at which radioactive elements decay and found no detectable effect.
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).
Five Nobel Laureates have been closely involved with the use of radioactive tracers in medicine.
In most cases, the information is used by physicians to make a quick diagnosis of the patient's illness.
The thyroid, bones, heart, liver, and many other organs can be easily imaged, and disorders in their function revealed.
In developed countries (26% of world population) the frequency of diagnostic nuclear medicine is 1.9% per year, and the frequency of therapy with radioisotopes is about one-tenth of this.
In the USA there are over 20 million nuclear medicine procedures per year, and in Europe about 10 million.