If you like badass female action heroes like Sarah Connor or Trinity look no further than Netflix’s new female-led movie Kate. We take a closer look at the chemical isotope polonium 204, which Kate is exposed to in the film, and see if there is any cure for this kind of radiation poisoning.
Netflix movie Kate stuns fans
The premise for this high-octane, action-packed movie sees an assassin poisoned with polonium 204, and who then has 24 hours left to live and avenge her own inevitable death. Talk about high stakes!
We follow Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) as she tries to track down the Yakuza members she expects ordered her murder.
Is there a cure for polonium 204?
Polonium 204 is an isotope of the chemical element polonium, and is an incredibly radioactive material. This metal was discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie and is named after their native country of Poland.
Polonium has some pretty niche uses. It is used to removed static electricity from different types of machinery and also as a heat source for thermoelectric power in space probes.
During the film we learn that Kate has been poisoned with polonium 204, and is suffering from acute radiation syndrome that will see her body deteriorate. We even see the young assassin pulling out her own rotting teeth as they begin to fall out.
However, it is polonium 210 that has become synonymous with radiation poisoning, after it was famously used to kill the former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko. This isotope emits a high-energy form of radiation but does not travel very far and decays quickly.
The material becomes concentrated in the red blood cells and then moves to the liver, kidney’s, spleen, bone marrow and the GI tract.
There is no known full cure for Polonium poisoning. However, it is suggested that gastric aspiration may be helpful if performed straight after ingesting. Another useful tactic is Chelation therapy, which is when a synthetic solution (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is injected into the bloodstream in order to remove heavy metals from the body.
Dimercaprol (British Anti-Lewisite) is also recommended for polonium poisoning, which is itself a chelating agent, and has previously been used to treat arsenic poisoning.
Some users took to Twitter to discuss the practicalities of poisoning someone with this specific isotope. Polonium 204 is much less well known that 210 as it has a shorter half life and also is much harder to obtain.
Fans react to Kate on Netflix
People have gone mad for the new action thriller on Netflix, and have taken to social media to share their love for the Mary Elizabeth Winstead flick.
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You can stream the new movie Kate on Netflix now.