I loved it so much to the point I started listening to episodes released before I became to know Radiolab. As a family member of the victim of nuclear accident, I was extremely offended by multiple comments made during this show.One particular one was "I kind of want to detonate atomic bomb again." This is NOT ACCEPTABLE TO BE BROADCASTED IN PUBLIC RADIO STATION. Or more precisely, how old are your cells..cells in your liver, or your spleen, or your brain?
So the question of age remained relatively unanswered until the early aughts, when scientist While Mary Webster has a very interesting analysis of tissue age, she is apparently unaware of the natural production of C-14 by cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere.
The carbon 14 produced is what is known as bomb carbon or artificial radiocarbon.
According to literature, nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s have nearly doubled the atmospheric carbon 14 content as measured in around 1965.
Mixing and exchanges happen between the atmosphere and the biosphere until such time that equilibrium is established.
Radiocarbon dating rests heavily on this assumption such that other sources of carbon 14 had, at first, not been considered nor accounted for.