Undergrad radioactive use, teaching/research?

dkatz at doane.edu dkatz at doane.edu
Wed Feb 22 12:54:24 EST 1995

Feb. 22, 1995

Once again I turn to my favorite group for advice and comments.
Each time I ask for help, I get so many good responses, that it
is obvious that this is a collection of very good and knowledgeable
My question is about teaching - specifically this:
Does anyone who is not involved in a radioisotope technique class
still continue to use radioisotopes with undergraduates in a 
class (lab) or in student research?
We are lucky enough to have a radioactive license, which we are 
maintaining solely because we have a wonderful Beckman LSC and
a gas chromatograph.
License fees are probably going to increase three fold this next
fee cycle.
I really, really need responses as to the current undergrad use
of radionucleotides and this type of activity and whether the
opinion of outsiders is : it is worth the money to keep/it is
not worth the money to keep.

If working with hot stuff is now passe with undergraduates, why
should we keep the license.
I have determined two, perhaps three reasons for us, as biology,
to keep it: 1) sequencing - it is my understanding that using
fluorescence is much more expensive to set up and keep running;
2) southern/northerns from genomic - I have still not had much luck
doing this with biotin or non-rad techniques.
Perhaps 3) would be watching CO2 fixation for botany or using the
hot stuff as a tracer for enzyme reactions.

So: I would welcome a response from anyone involved in teaching
undergraduates, whether large school or small about current/past/future
use of radionucleotides in this endeavor.

If there is any wish, I would be glad to post the responses.  To avoid
cluttering bionet space, unless there needs to be an open discussion, I 
would request responses come to me at Doane.

Thank you.
Sue Katz,   Biology, Doane College,  Crete, NE 68333
DKatz at Doane.edu

tiny, who wishes to respond 

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