Tips and traps in the 14C Bio-AMS preparation laboratory (WSam 7)

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Maintaining a contamination free sample preparation lab for biological 14 C AMS requires the same or more diligence as a radiocarbon dating prep lab. Isotope ratios of materials routinely range over 4-8 orders of magnitude in a single experiment, dosing solutions contain thousands of DPM and gels used to separate proteins possess 14 C ratios of 1pMC. Radiocarbon contamination is a legacy of earlier tracer work in most biological laboratories, even if they were never hot labs. Removable surface contamination can be found and monitored using swipes. Contamination can be found on any surface routinely touched: door knobs, light switches, ... continued below

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88 Kilobytes pages

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Buchholz, B A; Haack, K W; Stewart, P H & Vogel, J S October 12, 1999.

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Maintaining a contamination free sample preparation lab for biological 14 C AMS requires the same or more diligence as a radiocarbon dating prep lab. Isotope ratios of materials routinely range over 4-8 orders of magnitude in a single experiment, dosing solutions contain thousands of DPM and gels used to separate proteins possess 14 C ratios of 1pMC. Radiocarbon contamination is a legacy of earlier tracer work in most biological laboratories, even if they were never hot labs. Removable surface contamination can be found and monitored using swipes. Contamination can be found on any surface routinely touched: door knobs, light switches, drawer handles, water faucets. In general, all surfaces routinely touched need to be covered with paper, foil, or plastic that can be changed frequently. Shared air supplies can also present problems by distributing hot aerosols throughout a building. Aerosols can be monitored for 14 C content using graphitized coal or fullerene soot mixed with metal powder as an absorber. The monitors can be set out in work spaces for 1-2 weeks and measured by AMS with regular samples. Frequent air changes help minimize aerosol contamination in many cases. Cross contamination of samples can be minimized by using disposable plastic or glassware in the prep lab, isolating samples from the air when possible and using positive displacement pipetters.

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88 Kilobytes pages

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  • 8th International Conference on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Vienna (AT), 09/06/1999--09/10/1999

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JC-136018
  • Report No.: YN0100000
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 14456
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc620158

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  • October 12, 1999

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • May 6, 2016, 3:04 p.m.

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Buchholz, B A; Haack, K W; Stewart, P H & Vogel, J S. Tips and traps in the 14C Bio-AMS preparation laboratory (WSam 7), article, October 12, 1999; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc620158/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.