Matthew Meselson, Franklin Stahl, and Jerome Vinograd, developed cesium chloride, or CsCl, density gradient centrifugation in the 1950s at the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, in Pasadena, California. Density gradient centrifugation enables scientists to separate substances based on size, shape, and density. Meselson and Stahl invented a specific type of density gradient centrifugation, called isopycnic centrifugation that used a solution of cesium chloride to separate DNA molecules based on density alone. When Meselson and Stahl developed the technique in the mid-1950s, scientists had no other way to separate macromolecules that were of similar size but varied in density. Meselson and Stahl employed their method to determine how DNA replicates, became known as the Meselson-Stahl experiment. Density gradient centrifugation using cesium salts allowed scientists to isolate DNA and other macromolecules by density alone.

In 2003, HBO Original Programming released the documentary Chernobyl Heart. Maryann De Leo directed and produced the film, which is about the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident and how the radiation from that accident has affected people living in the area. Side effects have included mental disabilities, physical disabilities, and genetic mutations. The documentary follows Adi Roche, the founder of Chernobyl Children International, a non-profit humanitarian organization headquartered in Cork, Ireland, as she interviews people who live in the areas that Chernobyl contaminated with radiation. Roche travels to mental asylums, hospitals, and orphanages to interview people who take care of the children affected by the radiation. Chernobyl Heart provided viewers with information about the side effects of radiation exposure and the long-term effects that this has on people, especially children exposed to radiation during their developmental years.

Subscribe to Cesium