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As the only radioisotope of hydrogen, tritium (3H) is of unique importance in biological tracer studies. In studies of water metabolism it is often more convenient to use than deuterium (2H) or any of the oxygen isotopes, and as a label for organic molecules it is competitive with 14C and other nuclides.
Largely because of its exceptionally low beta particle energy, tritium is especially useful in studies requiring the highest possible resolution in autoradiographs. For example, tritium-labeled thymidine, which localizes in chromosomes, has been developed into a particularly useful tool. On the other hand, the low beta energy poses difficulties
Tritium-Labeled Molecules in Biology and Medicine.. Ann Intern Med. ;68:1198–1199. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-68-5-1198_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1968;68(5):1198-1199.
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