Radiation response a meltdown in reason

pam-sykesThe possibility that low doses of radiation may prevent or delay the progression of cancer is being explored by a Flinders University research team led by Professor Pam Sykes (pictured) in a move that runs counter to the widely held perception that exposure to any radiation is harmful.

Professor Sykes, recently appointed to the University’s Strategic Professorship in Preventive Cancer Biology in the Flinders Centre for Cancer Prevention and Control says the public panic in response to nuclear accidents such as that at Fukushima in Japan is the result of a general ignorance about radiation.

“We have to ensure that radiation is respected and we have to understand what damage radiation can cause – but radiation is not the poison, the dose is,” Professor Sykes said.

“We need radiation in our environment, just as we need vitamins and minerals. Too much is a problem, too little is a problem,” she said.

“Chernobyl was obviously a disaster but there was no increase in leukaemia, solid tumours or birth defects among the 335,000 people who were evacuated and who received less than 100 milliSieverts of radiation – that’s five times the dose I’m allowed as a radiation worker.

“There was an increase in thyroid tumours but we’re not sure how much that related to the fact that everyone was screened for thyroid tumours, which wouldn’t normally happen.

“It’s now been accepted that they should not have evacuated so many people because the biggest detriment from Chernobyl was that they were dramatically disadvantaged, both economically and socially. Many suffered depression thinking they were going to die of cancer.

“And the frightening thing is that it’s been estimated that throughout Europe there were over 100,000 wanted pregnancies aborted, and these were people who didn’t live anywhere near Chernobyl.”

Professor Sykes’ research, which involves doses of radiation that are up to three orders of magnitude lower than those used by other investigators, has been funded by the US Department of Energy Low Dose Radiation Research Program for almost 10 years.

“Using a transgenic mouse that is very sensitive to stressors, we have identified regions in the dose range that cause different biological effects,” she said.

“Some of our colleagues in Germany and Oxford have shown that low doses of radiation to cells in culture trigger a mechanism which removes pre-tumour cells. We’re now working to see if we can identify this response in a mouse.

“If we can understand these mechanisms, we can manipulate them to prevent cancer,” adding it might be “several years” before the potential to humans could be confirmed.

Studies in Canada and Japan have also shown that low doses of radiation given to mice delay the onset of cancer, and reduce the symptoms of diabetes and atherosclerosis, improving the span and quality of life of the affected animals.

Professor Sykes and her team are currently examining low dose radiation therapy in reducing or preventing prostate cancer, with a grant from the Prostate Council Foundation of Australia.

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6 thoughts on “Radiation response a meltdown in reason

  1. 3 former TEPCO executives face criminal trial over Fukushima crisis
    July 31, 2015

    Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. will stand trial over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster after an independent judicial panel of citizens on July 31 again decided that mandatory indictments are warranted.

    It will be the first time for TEPCO or government officials to stand formally accused of professional negligence resulting in death and injury in the nuclear crisis that was triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

    The Tokyo No. 5 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution for the second time rejected prosecutors’ decision not to indict the three–former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and two former vice presidents, Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro.

    Based on the committee’s decision, three court-appointed lawyers will indict the three and serve as prosecutors in the trial.

    After the crisis unfolded at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, residents and citizens groups filed criminal complaints with prosecutors against senior TEPCO and government officials.

    They argued that the three TEPCO executives failed to fulfill their responsibility to implement necessary safety measures at the plant before the disaster, leading to the deaths of hospital patients during the evacuation and other tragedies.

    In September 2013, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office decided not to indict the three former TEPCO executives.

    The inquest committee handed down its first decision in July 2014, calling for indictments, but the prosecutors office again said there was not enough evidence to charge the three.

    That led to the committee’s second examination of the case.

    A decision for mandatory indictment requires approval from at least eight members of the 11-member committee.

    THE ASAHI SHIMBUN http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201507310053

  2. How many American tax dollars were spent by the US Department of Energy in its attempt to smother public nuclear debate in South Australia from the period 1999 to 2015? How did Flinders University spend those US dollars?

    By stereotyping South Australians as per the FU Sykes paper reproduced above. I was not a coward as a military radiological safety NCO and I am certainly not a radiophobe now. Hey FU FU.

  3. Should Toro Energy get a Pharmacy License in order for it to spread Vitamin R around via its random pollution?

    NO. Uranium oxide is not a vitamin, its a toxic and radiological heavy metal.

    Can you switch an X ray machine off ? Can anyone switch uranium oxide off ? NO.

    IS MINING MEDICINE? NO. What makes medicine? An identified medical need for diagnosis or treatment, a qualified MEDICAL practitioner (not a genetic expert nor a geologists) and (tra da) PATIENT CONSENT.

    You aint my doctor Prof Sykes. You dont have my consent to conduct anything on me, whether it be propaganda or pro nuke experimentation.

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