heavy-labelled water technique

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The use of water containing tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen), such that the tritium replaces a stable (i.e. non-radioactive) atom in a compound, making the compound radioactive (e.g. tritium is readily incorporated into DNA during DNA replication). The path taken by such a labelled compound in the biological system can be followed by the radiation it emits (e.g. on an autoradiograph).

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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