Plasma Minerals in Normal and Neutron Irradiated Burros

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Abstract

PREVIOUS investigations have reported the biochemical and haematological changes produced by exposure of the burro (Equus asinus asinus) to γ-irradiation1–9. Concentrations of plasma iron rise immediately after irradiation4–7, but concentrations of copper do not rise until death, and magnesium concentrations decrease8. When a small, unshielded and uncooled fast reactor became available10, we exposed fourteen burros to neutron irradiation of either the whole body or the torso only at various doses from 100 to 440 rads. The constitution of each dose was about 90 per cent fast neutrons and 10 per cent γ-rays. (Details of the radiation characteristics and dosimetry have already been described9.) The elements analysed in duplicate in dried plasma, using an optical emission spectrograph, are shown in Table 1; the data were processed in a computer using a Fortran system. Analyses for calcium, potassium, chlorine and sulphur were also made by the X-ray fluorescence method11,12.

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References

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