Tag Archives: accelerator

EIC: a new billion-$$ electron accelerator to look inside protons and neutrons

The next dream machine for U.S. nuclear physicists got an important boost today in a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report committee glowingly approved of the science that could be done with the proposed Electron-Ion Collider (EIC), a billion-dollar accelerator that would probe the innards of protons and neutrons. The endorsement should help the Department of Energy (DOE) justify building the EIC at one of two national laboratories competing to host it, although the project probably won’t get the go-ahead for several years.

“We’re basically saying, ‘You’ve really got to do this,’” says Ani Aprahamian, a nuclear physicist at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and co-chair of the report committee.

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The Journey of Actinium-225: How Scientists Discovered a New Way to Produce a Rare Medical Radioisotope

Inside a narrow glass tube sits a substance that can harm or cure, depending on how you use it. It gives off a faint blue glow, a sign of its radioactivity. While the energy and subatomic particles it emits can damage human cells, they can also kill some of our most stubborn cancers. This substance is actinium-225.

Fortunately, scientists have figured out how to harness actinium-225’s power for good. They can attach it to molecules that can home in on only cancer cells. In clinical trials treating late-stage prostate cancer patients, actinium-225 wiped out the cancer in three treatments.

This picture shows three different images of a single patient with end-stage prostate cancer.

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