From food adulteration to fossil backtrack, even meat production site identification, isotope analysis plays a significant role in both scientific researches and our daily lives. The examples are included but limited, the potential of the single tech and its deductive techniques are far beyond our imaginations.

The tech can help to find answers for some miseries that span both time and space in the globe. Also it plays vital roles in researches and studies like biology, organic chemistry, and drug design to learn about the reaction mechanism and the medical potential of chemical compounds. In the later paragraphs, the applications of isotope analysis and its related tech in these aspects will be explained in detail.

Isotopes are the variants of an element, with the only difference in neutrons. With same electron numbers and similar electronic structures, the isotopes of a given chemical share almost same chemicals characters for that electron structure is the main factor that influence an element’s non-physical behaviors. Then isotope labeling according to this attribute is developed.

Isotope labeling is a tech that applies an isotope different from the existing ones in a compound or reaction to trace their routes, visualizing the reacting mechanism, widely applied in drug design to study the reaction process, final products, as well as many other scientific situations.

What are the cases that isotope analysis is involved in our daily lives? Below are some examples.

Isotope analysis in food source tracking back
Do you know where the meat in hamburgers from? Are they safe to eat? In most cases, there is no detailed information about this contained in the label, but if health problems occur, it will be necessary to trace where the meat is from. Isoscapes (a combination of isotopes and landscapes) is another tech frequently applied in food related detection.

Isotopes and the study of Environment
Climate change in long time span may influence the habit of residence in the corresponding periods. Thus to know exactly the climate type of a place can enhance the knowledge of its culture. By studying the oxygen isotopes, related information can be gained as different oxygen isotopes exist in different climate conditions. That’s one aspect about the application of isotopes in the study of environement.s

Isotope analysis in archeology
In archeology, to determine the exact period and place that an item was made, isotope analysis is frequently involved. Characterization is the often means used in this aspect. By comparing the isotopic composition to the objects that have identified with the data, general information can be got. And then with more isotopic comparison, a narrower answer will be presented.

Isotopic analysis in Diet Analysis
As the climate probing, studies on the diet habits that people in the past is one aspect of their general culture and agriculture. From the different protein they ate and related clue they left in bones, the specific source of the protein can be known by learning the isotopic value. With the value, the type of food, as well as the time that the bone carriers lived can be determined.

Isotope labeling in chemistry studies
As mentioned in the introduction part, isotope labeling is widely employed in drug designs and protein studies. In the synthesis process of the target compounds, to be tracked isotopes are incorporated into these compounds. The tech can be even taken advantages by counting the protein number. And for proteins, there are fluorescent labeling available for outside observation of the protein’s activities.

Radioactive Isotope labeling
Radioactive isotope labeling is a special type. Radioactive isotopes as well as stable isotopes are radioactive, but the radioactive ones have much shorter half-life. By making use of radiation the isotopes release, they can be tracked. Nuclear magnetic resonance is a typical one.

Author's Bio: 

BOC Sciences is a professional provider of isotopes for drug discovery, isotope labeling, and protein fluorescent labeling.