Genetic Impact of Radiation

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Genetic Impact of Radiation

Postby wolfhnd on October 7th, 2009, 7:49 pm 

Oklahoma City, OK -- Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center are helping to lead a massive international study on the possible genetic effects of radiation and cancer drug exposures on future generations. The study’s principal investigators are meeting this week at the OU Health Sciences Center to discuss their recent findings, which will be presented at an upcoming meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

The study, which combines cancer survivors in the United States and Scandinavia, is looking at potential genetic consequences of reproductive organs exposed to curative therapy by drugs or radiation. Scientists want to determine whether radiation and chemotherapy before conception increases the occurrence of birth defects, stillbirths and specific conditions such as Down syndrome. They also want to know if radiation treatment leads to cancer or DNA damage in the patients’ offspring. It is the first and largest study of its kind.
This figure illustrates the relative abilities of three different types of ionizing radiation to penetrate solid matter.

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