Professor improves radioactive waste management techniques

A Rutgers professor and his research team are working to develop a simpler and cheaper way to contain radioactive waste. Last fall, Ashutosh Goel, an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and his research team, discovered they could create the ceramic material needed to immobilize radioactive iodine in a low-temperature lab setting, rather than a highly controlled environment. Read more.

Tools and techniques to track and study methane

Methane is less prevalent in the atmosphere than fellow greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), but it presents more difficult challenges for researchers attempting to study it. Most producers of CO2 can easily estimate their carbon footprint—eliminating the need for close tracking. For example, power plants burning fossil fuels know, to a high degree of accuracy, how much CO2 is produced by their operations. Furthermore, the sources of CO2 are easy to pin down. The CO2 produced by burning coal in a furnace is spewed out the attached smokestack.

Methane emissions, by contrast, are more difficult to quantify. Read more.

Armenian government to privatize isotope production center

An extraordinary session of the Armenian parliament has allowed the privatization of the Isotope Production Center. According to Arman Sahakyan, the head of State Property Management Department, the Isotope Production Center will be included in the list of state-owned objects subject to privatization based on the proposal of the ministry of health of Armenia. Read more.

Managing water resources: Bolivia uncovers aquifer’s secrets with nuclear technology

Bolivians have found ways to protect and sustainably use water from the aquifer of Purapurani — with the help of nuclear technology.

Despite centuries of supplying water to the cities of El Alto and Viacha near the capital of La Paz, little had been known about Purapurani until recently. Scientists are now using isotopic techniques to gather key information about the age, quality and source of this water hidden underground, information that will allow them to better plan its use. Read more.

First patients dosed in trial of radioactive antibody for prostate, other cancers

The first three patients have been dosed in a clinical trial evaluating the safety and tolerability of MILGa, a radioactive antibody designed to seek out and destroy cancerous tumors in advanced prostate, bladder, and pancreatic cancer.

The patients — two with pancreatic cancer and one with prostate cancer — have completed a one-month follow-up, and no treatment-related side effects were reported, according to a press release from the treatment’s developer. Read more.