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Report from IUPAC-Sponsored Symposium


Nuclear Analytical Techniques in the Life Sciences

7th International Conference on Nuclear Analytical Techniques in the Life Sciences (NAMLS-7), 16-21 June 2002, Antalya, Turkey.

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by Jeroen J. M. de Goeij

The 7th International Conference on Nuclear Analytical Techniques in the Life Sciences (NAMLS-7), cosponsored by IUPAC, was held 16-21 June 2002 in Antalya, Turkey. The preparations and entire organization were handled by Dr. Namik. K. Aras (University of Bahcesehir, Istanbul, Turkey), with the help of Dr. R.M. Parr (formerly of IAEA, Vienna, Austria). About 170 participants from 39 countries, attended the conference. The conference was held in an excellent on-shore hotel with a beautiful panorama. There were no parallel sessions, thereby enabling participants to follow all oral presentations. The program contained sufficient free time and some social and tourist activities, which stimulated the participants in having informal individual and group discussions.

After an introductory session, ten technical sessions followed on a rather wide range of topics: (i) speciation of trace elements in biological materials; (ii) osteoporosis and other bone-related studies; (iii) zinc in human nutrition and biological samples; (iv-vi) reference materials and quality assurance; (vii) selenium in human nutrition and biological samples, (viii-ix) nuclear analytical techniques in environmental studies; (xi-xii) biomonitoring of environmental pollution based on studies of trace elements in lichens, mosses, and other biomonitors; and (xiii) development of methods. One session (x) displayed all posters. In total, 71 oral presentations, including many invited ones, and 119 posters were given. After a peer review, accepted manuscripts will be published in a regular volume of the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry. Dr. A. Chatt (Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) will act as the conference editor.

It was clearly demonstrated that nuclear analytical techniques (NATs)–sometimes together with complementary isotope tracer techniques–are still important, in spite of the development of many other analytical techniques. They may provide interesting additional information, and sometimes even unique information that cannot be obtained otherwise. Following are a few examples: radioactive selenium in the elucidation of the composition and function of selenoproteins, radioactive and stable zinc isotopes in assessing zinc status and utilization of dietary zinc, NATs for the determination of "difficult" elements, for certification of reference materials, and/or for testing other analytical techniques, including speciation.

At the start of the conference, the 2002 Hevesy Medal Award–the premier international award of excellence in radioanalytical and nuclear chemistry–was presented to Dr. Enrico Sabbioni (Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra, Italy). This was in recognition of his excellence through outstanding, sustained career achievements in the field, particularly applications to nuclear analytical chemistry. In his acceptance speech Dr. Sabbioni highlighted advanced research on metal metabolism and toxicity and the irreplaceable role of radioanalytical techniques therein.

(L to R) Prof. Tibor Braun, chief editor of the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, donor of Hevesy Medal; Prof. Namik Aras, Chairman, Local Organizing Committee, NAMLS-7; Prof. A. Chatt, president of the International Committee on Activation Analysis Modern Trends in Activation Analysis (ICAA/MTAA); Prof. Enrico Sabbioni, 2002 Hevesy Medal Awardee; and Prof. Robert Jervis, chairman, 2002 Hevesy Medal Selection Panel.


The chairman of the NAMLS international committee, Dr. Rolf Zeisler (NIST, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA) stepped down from this position after many years of service. Dr. Jan Kucera (Nuclear Physics Institute, Rez, Czech Republic) was chosen as his successor. Dr. R.M. Parr was reelected as committee secretary. The next NAMLS conference will take place in 2005 in a Latin-American country. Information on the conference–as well on previous ones–may be found at the Web address below.

Jeroen J. M. de Goeij is a professor of radiochemistry at Delft University of Technology and at Eindhoven University of Technology, both in the Netherlands.



> Published in Chem. Int. 24(5), 2002

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