Start Bomb radiocarbon dating

Bomb radiocarbon dating

“We found stem cells in the hippocampus of adult mice and rats that could create new neurons,” Gage says.

The bomb pulse has been declining since the 1963 above-ground test ban treaty, creating a sort of clock they could exploit.

By determining how many radioactive carbon atoms a cell contained, Spalding and Frisén hoped they could calculate its birthdate. Spalding’s curiosity eventually leading her to a slaughterhouse on the outskirts of Stockholm.

Standing outside the low, gray industrial building, she watched as horses went in one side and, about 15 minutes later, a worker appeared on the other end, holding a head, neurons and all.

“It was precisely as revolting as it sounds,” she says.

Most aboveground nuclear bomb testing happened between 19, and those detonations released untold numbers of neutrons into the atmosphere.

These slammed into nitrogen atoms, causing their nuclei to eject a proton.

The human hippocampus, Spalding and Frisén discovered, was continually creating small numbers of neurons.

They and their co-authors had solved one of neuroscience’s longstanding mysteries.

In the years leading up to that, Spalding and Frisén pioneered a new field of research, using the Cold War bomb pulse to answer a number of questions about human physiology, including neuron formation and lipid cycling.

“It’s an amazingly powerful tool, whether you want to look at a fat cell or a brain cell,” Spalding says.

When looking for carbon isotopes, the instrument strips carbon atoms of some of their electrons and launches them into a magnetic field, which alters each atom’s trajectory.