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Japan Medicine Science Idle

Jars of Irradiated Russian Animals Find a New Purpose 86

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the osha-radiation-guidelines-for-zone-trippers dept.
scibri writes with bits and pieces from the article: "From the early 1950s to the end of the cold war, nearly 250,000 animals were systematically irradiated in the Russian town of Ozersk. Fearful of a nuclear attack by the United States, the Soviet Union wanted to understand how radiation damages tissues and causes diseases such as cancer. Now, these archives have become important to a new generation of radiobiologists, who want to explore the effects of the extremely low doses of radiation — below 100 millisieverts — that people receive during medical procedures such as computed-tomography diagnostic scans, and by living close to the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan."
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Jars of Irradiated Russian Animals Find a New Purpose

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  • Re:I wonder... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @11:46AM (#39942177)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @11:51AM (#39942243)

    Quoting wikipedia, "Consensus reports by the United States National Research Council and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) argue that there is no evidence for hormesis in humans and in the case of the National Research Council, that hormesis is outright rejected as a possibility. Therefore, the Linear no-threshold model (LNT) continues to be the model generally used by regulatory agencies for human radiation exposure."

    There's not been actual scientific evidence for radiation hormesis in humans, despite it being your pet theory.

  • Re:I wonder... (Score:3, Informative)

    by perles (1855088) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:13PM (#39942587)
    Yes! Read about the Mega Mouse project. It used 7 million mice. http://www.e-radiography.net/radsafety/rad_biology.htm [e-radiography.net]
  • by Dr. Gamera (1548195) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:19PM (#39942669)

    There's not been actual scientific evidence for radiation hormesis in humans, despite it being your pet theory.

    It's not hormesis, per se, but it's clear that humans (and other lifeforms) can endure at least the low levels of radiation coming from their own bodies. Humans are about 0.35% potassium by mass; 0.0117% of potassium is potassium-40; potassium-40, which undergoes beta decay, has a half-life of 1.248 * 10^9 years. Each 1 kg of body mass has about 410 micrograms of potassium-40; that's 6.2 * 10^18 potassium-40 atoms. 1.248 * 10^9 years is 3.938 * 10^16 seconds, so roughly 1 out of every 3.938 * 10^16 potassium-40 atoms decays every second. Out of the 6.2 * 10^18 potassium-40 atoms in each kg of body mass, that's about 160 atoms. Average adult weight is something like 70 kg, so figure 11200 potassium-40 atoms are undergoing beta decay inside the average adult body every second.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:54PM (#39943203)

    For those who don't get the joke it's from a cartoon. Rocky and Bullwinkle.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @01:12PM (#39943485)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477708/

    The conventional approach for radiation protection is based on the ICRP's linear, no threshold (LNT) model of radiation carcinogenesis, which implies that ionizing radiation is always harmful, no matter how small the dose. But a different approach can be derived from the observed health effects of the serendipitous contamination of 1700 apartments in Taiwan with cobalt-60 (T1/2 = 5.3 y). This experience indicates that chronic exposure of the whole body to low-dose-rate radiation, even accumulated to a high annual dose, may be beneficial to human health. Approximately 10,000 people occupied these buildings and received an average radiation dose of 0.4 Sv,

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