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Carbon ($\ce{^{14}C}$) is used to determine how long a particular species has lived or how old it is. Can we use the same isotope to derive how long a species may survive? (My understanding is still quite at infant level on half-life concept)

Is it prohibited or is it impossible? If not possible, why?

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No, it can't be used for that. Read the mechanism of radiocarbon dating.

Radiocarbon, often abbreviated as $\ce{^{14} C}$, is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen. The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide. This is then incorporated into plants by photosynthesis, and animals acquire $\ce{^{14}C}$ by eating the plants. When the animal or plant dies, it stops exchanging carbon with its environment, and from that point the amount of $\ce{^{14} C}$ it contains begins to reduce as the $\ce{^{14}C}$ undergoes radioactive decay. Measuring the amount of $\ce{^{14}C}$ in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as piece of old wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died. The oldest dates that can be reliably measured by radiocarbon dating are around 50,000 years ago, though special preparation methods occasionally permit dating of older samples.

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  • $\begingroup$ I have seen that link. I am also referring to other articles. And I don't mean to be rude, but please take a look at (A) how to write a good answer in Stack Exchange by help. (B) how to write a good answer in SE by Meta. I am stating this, mainly 1. Chemistry is still in beta 2. I have seen Stack Exchange community reviewing questions and answers. It's obvious you seem to have a knowledge in Chemistry. So please share with the community when answering. $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 10:31
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    $\begingroup$ Alright I am glad you at least added some text... $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 10:31
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I dimly remember a paper contributing to the controversy if nerve cells in the brain continue to divide in adulthood.

The experiment relied on the 14-C spike (I think it was carbon and not tritium) caused by above-ground nuclear testing. The authors extracted DNA (which we all know is synthesized during cell division) from brains preserved before the Sixties. It turns out that no excess 14-C was incorporated.

So, yes, in its own way, radiocarbon dating can be used to gauge the age of a living being.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your answer says yes, in its own way, radiocarbon dating can be used to gauge the age of a living being but the above answer and some other materials specify that carbon dating can determine dead species...or is this another angle of looking at the same thing? $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 11:15

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