Something good came from aboveground nuclear testing?

While puttering about today, I turned on NPR as I so often do, and heard the last words of a story that ended the reporter saying “That would be an unexpected bit of good news inspired by the Cold War atomic tests.”

What?!

How could anything good have come from the aboveground nuclear tests, much less something having to do with recovery from damage to your heart muscle?

The story “Nuclear Fallout Solves Heart Mystery” tells how the above-ground nuclear tests of the first decades of the aotmic era have led to a small breakthrough, something about how researchers were able to determine that heart cells do in fact regenerate, albeit very slowly, by measuring the decay rate of carbon 14 in heart muscle cells. Crazy… but good science, carefully and actually down in a fairly conservative manner to ensure the best course of study, can produce some truly ground-breaking results.

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.