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Submission + - Cure for radiation sickness found? ( 3

Summit writes: Could this be the greatest medical discovery of the century? A scientist has claimed to have discovered a radioprotectant that all but eliminates ARS (Acute Radiation Sickness) even in cases of lethal doses of radiation in tests on rats and monkeys. They also claim the drug, a protein, has no observed negative effects in humans. They have not irradiated any people just yet, but if this turns out to be true, it could mean everything from curing cancer to making manned interplanetary space expeditions feasible... not to mention treatment for radiation exposures in nuclear/radiological accidents/attacks. If this drug works, it would mean a true breakthrough as past experiments with radioprotectants were not particularly promising in any respect.


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Cure for radiation sickness found?

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  • This is obviously very interesting. It's also highly suspicious that the news (let's face it, essentially a rumor at this stage) is coming out of Israel, and the first article on the subject is talking about the "strategic advantage" it provides them over Iran.

    Great if it's true, but for now, I'm calling bullshit.

  • "The medication works by suppressing the "suicide mechanism" of cells hit by radiation, while enabling them to recover from the radiation-induced damages that prompted them to activate the suicide mechanism in the first place. " Isn't the "suicide mechanism" a way for cells to kill themselves in order to stop itself from becoming cancerous from damaged DNA? I wouldn't be surprised that within the next few years all of the animal test subjects that "survived" the radiation doses don't all die from cancer.
    • The suicide mechanism is widely thought to be overly sensitive.

      I would think that it could be helpful for people accidentally exposed to radiation. If the exposure was minimal, it could save their life. If the exposure was large, it could turn an instant death sentence into 3 years of life fighting cancer with a chance of survival.

      I doubt it would be helpful for chemotherapy, unless it could be targeted to avoid the cancer cells we want to kill.

I've got a bad feeling about this.