Plant Mutations detections here in Australia.
I was sent twin bananas to test, from Northern New South Wales. Around the same time, we also found a mutated strawberry in a strawberry punnet, purchased from the local supermarket. The strawberries came from Victoria.
Both the banana and the strawberry samples were long count tested, with a very sensitive Geiger counter. These tests showed no elevation above background. The samples were then tested with a Scintillator, in a lead and copper lined test chamber. Each sample was tested twice, and each test was run for 24 hours.
2" Alpha Spectra NaI 818/2B,
Note: Experimental software MCA Theremino V6.2 was used for the scintillator testing. It is quite noisy, near background levels. We are talking very low counts per second (CPS) at this level, as low as one count every 100 + seconds. This can make it difficult to define if some very small peaks are actual isotope detections, or random variations in background levels.
Note: This scintillator has around 50% efficiency at 60 keV.
The brown and gold lines are the Banana tests, and the grey is background.
You will see both banana tests overlaid on the test chart. I have highlighted the significant areas above background that are common to both tests, in yellow. Possible isotopes candidates for these peak areas are Lead Pb-210, Americium Am-241, Thorium Th-234, Uranium U-235 and Beryllium Be-7. Common isotope peak markers are at the top of the chart. The suggested Lead Pb-210, Am-241, Thorium Th-234, Uranium U-235 detections were so small that there is considerable uncertainty to this analysis.
If Thorium Th-234, and Uranium U-235 are present it, would indicate refined uranium was a contaminant. More expensive sensitive equipment would be needed to verify these detections. The bananas went rotten during the testing, and becoming liquid mush. This may explain the peak differences between tests, as sample material moved around during the testing period.
Twin Banana Test Chart
The strawberry weighed was only 9 grams. This is a very small plant sample amount to test for possible trace amounts of radioactive contamination. Any possible peaks that showed up in the first test, turned out to be random variations in background. If there was any radioactive contamination present in the mutated strawberry, my equipment was not sensitive enough to identify it.
Cut up for testing
Did radiation isotope contamination cause these plant mutations?
There is not enough evidence gained from either of the mutated banana or strawberry tests to conclude definitively that the radioactive isotope contamination was the cause of these plant mutations. More sensitive equipment or other methods of testing, would be needed to definitively identify the isotope contamination. These are the first two plant mutations I have been provided with for testing here in Australia. Besides man made radioactive isotope contamination, plant mutations can also be created by ultraviolet radiation, chemical, hormonal, genetic, bacterial, fungal, and viral causes etc.
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