Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




TECH SPACE
Berkeley Lab Scientists Developing Quick Way to ID People Exposed to Ionizing Radiation
by Dan Krotz for Berkeley News
Berkeley CA (SPX) Dec 19, 2012


Research could lead to a blood test that triages victims after a radiation-related incident

There's a reason emergency personnel train for the aftermath of a dirty bomb or an explosion at a nuclear power plant. They'll be faced with a deluge of urgent tasks, such as identifying who's been irradiated, who has an injury-induced infection, and who's suffering from both.

Unfortunately, there isn't a quick way to screen for people exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. There also isn't a quick way to distinguish between people suffering from radiation exposure versus an infection due to an injury or chemical exposure.

The most common way to measure exposure is a blood assay that tracks chromosomal changes. Another approach is to watch for the onset of physical symptoms. But these methods can take several days to provide results, which is far too late to identify people who'd benefit from immediate treatment.

A much faster way could be coming. Research conducted by scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) could lead to a blood test that detects if a person has been exposed to radiation, measures their dose, and separates people suffering from inflammation injuries-all in a matter of hours.

The scientists identified eight DNA-repair genes in human blood whose expression responses change more than twofold soon after blood is exposed to radiation. They also learned how these genes respond when blood is exposed to inflammation stress, which can occur because of an injury or infection. Inflammation can mimic the effects of radiation and lead to false diagnoses.

The result is a panel of biochemical markers that can discriminate between blood samples exposed to radiation, inflammation, or both. The scientists believe these markers could be incorporated into a blood test that quickly triages people involved in radiation-related incidents.

They report their research in a paper recently published online in the journal PLOS ONE.

"In an emergency involving radiation exposure, it's likely that only a small fraction of all possibly exposed people will be exposed to high doses that require immediate medical attention," says Andy Wyrobek of Berkeley Lab's Life Sciences Division.

"The goal is to quickly screen for these people so they can get treatment, and avoid overwhelming medical facilities with the larger number of people exposed to low levels of radiation with no immediate medical needs. Our research could lead to a blood test that enables this."

Wyrobek conducted the research with fellow Berkeley Lab scientists Helen Budworth and Antoine Snijders, as well as several other scientists from Berkeley Lab and other institutions.

Because DNA is one of the major targets of radiation, the Berkeley Lab scientists began their research by focusing on 40 genes that regulate the expression of proteins that carry out DNA-repair tasks.

They studied these genes in blood samples taken from healthy people before and after exposing the samples to 2 Gray of X-rays per year, which is about the radiation dose received by radiotherapy patients.

They found twelve genes that underwent more than a twofold change in response after exposure. From these, they isolated eight genes that had no overlap between unirradiated and irradiated samples.

The scientists also treated the blood samples with a compound that mimics inflammatory stress. This enabled them to account for gene-expression responses that could be mistaken for signs of radiation exposure, but which are actually caused by injury or infection. In addition, they irradiated a portion of these samples to learn how the genes respond to both inflammation and radiation.

To validate their findings, the scientists analyzed a separate dataset of blood samples that had also been irradiated. They found a close match between their own data and the independent dataset in how the eight genes respond after radiation exposure.

They also compared their findings to a large group of bone marrow transplant patients who received total-body radiation. Again, they found a close match between their data and the gene-expression responses of the patients after they received treatment.

More work is needed, but Wyrobek envisions a blood test using their biochemical markers could be administered via a handheld device similar to what diabetes patients use to check their blood sugar.

he test could help emergency personnel quickly identify people exposed to high radiation doses who need immediate care, and people exposed to lower doses who only need long-term monitoring.

The research was funded largely by the Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The PLOS ONE paper can be accessed here.

.


Related Links
Berkeley Lab
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
Detective work using terahertz radiation
Dresden, Germany (SPX) Nov 26, 2012
Damaging biocides can be detected on old wooden sculptures, hidden wall paintings can be made visible again and the layered structures of pieces of art analyzed. Using terahertz scanners restorers will soon be able to identify quickly, and completely non-destructively, what is happening with an object of art. It was a special moment for Michael Panzner of the Fraunhofer Institute for Mater ... read more


TECH SPACE
GRAIL Lunar Impact Site Named for Astronaut Sally Ride

NASA probes crash into the moon

No plans of sending an Indian on moon

Rocket Burn Sets Stage for Dynamic Moon Duos' Lunar Impact

TECH SPACE
Clays on Mars: More Plentiful Than Expected

Opportunity For Some Shoulder Workout At Copper Cliff

Enabling ChemCam to Measure Key Isotopic Ratios on Mars and Other Planets

Curiosity Rover Explores 'Yellowknife Bay'

TECH SPACE
NASA Puts Orion Backup Parachutes to the Test

White House to honor scientists, inventors

TDRS-K Arrives at Kennedy for Launch Processing

Sierra Nevada Corporation Selected by NASA to Receive Human Spaceflight Certification Products Contract

TECH SPACE
Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

TECH SPACE
Expedition 34 Spends Christmas in Space

Three astronauts blast off for ISS in Russian craft

Soyuz rocket brings trio to space station

ISS Orbit Raised Ahead of Crew Arrival

TECH SPACE
Ariane 5 ECA orbits Skynet 5D and Mexsat Bicentenario satellites

Payload integration complete for final 2012 Ariane 5 mission

Arctic town eyes future as Europe's gateway to space

ISRO planning 10 space missions in 2013

TECH SPACE
Closest sun-like star may have planets

Nearby star is good candidate for Earth-like planets

Venus transit and lunar mirror could help astronomers find worlds around other stars

Astronomers discover and 'weigh' infant solar system

TECH SPACE
Berkeley Lab Scientists Developing Quick Way to ID People Exposed to Ionizing Radiation

All Systems Go for Highest Altitude Supercomputer

Space Fence program moving forward

Aldrich Materials Science discovers liquid-free preparation of metal organic frameworks




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement