BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Repeated CT Scans May Be Protective
Published: November 07, 2011
Posted: January 12, 2012

Public concern about exposure to ionizing radiation includes the effects of medical diagnostic procedures that use radiation, such as x-ray computed tomography (CT) scans. DOE researchers at McMaster University are investigating the biological effects and adaptive responses induced by single and repeated CT scans in C57BL/6 mice. They found that mice exposed to a single CT scan exhibited transient genotoxicity, enhanced apoptosis (programmed cell death), and characteristics of radiation sensitization. Interestingly, exposure to repeated CT scans resulted in small, but significant reductions in these effects. The repeated CT scan protocol also reduced the effects of subsequent larger radiation exposures in the animals. Results from repeated CT scans support the notion that frequent mild levels of oxidative stress allow for the maintenance of a healthy cell population by fostering the death of unstable and damaged cells. Parallel studies of similarly irradiated groups of mice are now underway to measure whether the different exposure protocols affect lifetime cancer risk.

Reference: Phan, N., M. De Lisio, G. Parise, and D. R. Boreham. 2011. "Biological Effects and Adaptive Response from Single and Repeated Computed Tomography Scans in Reticulocytes and Bone Marrow of C57BL/6 Mice," Radiation Research. DOI: 10.1667/RR2532.1. (Reference link)

Contact: Noelle Metting, SC-23.2, (301) 903-8309
Topic Areas:

  • Legacy: Low Dose Radiation, Radiobiology

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)