Its services are open to all interested users, whether involved in research or administration or from the private sector.
The worlds oldest continuously operating radiocarbon laboratory, Rafter Radiocarbon, is a department within the National Isotope Centre and has a long history in radiocarbon dating.
The financial and concomitant research benefits that will accrue from AMS by involving pharmaceutical companies and research institutes are evident.
This is possible since all living organisms contain nearly the same proportion of radioactive carbon in their carbon stores and since, upon the death of the organism, the carbon which survives decomposition continuously loses 14C by its radioactive decay. This applies to normal samples, and the time varies depending on the type of material.
Reporting time for fast handling is maximum 6 weeks but normally 3-4 weeks.
The new MICADAS (MIni CArbon DAting System) device can deal with much smaller samples of material than the Oeschger counter, and is so much simpler to operate that about ten times more measurements can be made in the same amount of time.
The LARA laboratory was established at the initiative of the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR) and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.