May 30, 2014 10:22 pm

WATCH: New medical isotope machine at UBC helps prevent worldwide shortage

There is currently a worldwide shortage of medical isotopes, but a Vancouver-based lab is getting closer to creating enough radioactive material to meet the demands of the health care system.

Isotopes are used to diagnose everything from cancer and heart disease to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

TRIUMF at UBC is best known for their giant cyclotron, but it has three smaller cyclotrons too.

Today, Ottawa announced $5.5 million to replace one of those three smaller cyclotrons with a new $10 million machine powered by electricity and magnets specializing in producing medical isotopes.

It will cure the shortage in isotopes caused by leaks and shutdowns at the Chalk River nuclear reactor in Ontario.

The new medical isotope machine should be up and running in a year.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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