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

BER Research Highlights

Irradiated Tissue Archives Featured in Nature
Published: May 09, 2012
Posted: May 24, 2012

Many countries, including the United States, are investing in research to understand the biological response of living organisms to low doses of ionizing radiation. One fruitful direction is to apply new technologies and data analysis methods to archived data and materials obtained during past research. Between 1952 and 1992, more than 200 large radiobiology studies were conducted in research institutes throughout Europe, North America, and Japan to determine the effects of external irradiation and internal emitters on the lifespan and tissue toxicity in animals. Recent archival efforts have enabled open access to the data and materials produced by these studies, providing a unique opportunity to expand this continued research. DOE supports both continued research and a sustained effort to make archival data freely available through the internet. A recent news article in Nature highlights this work and its relevance to questions that are being addressed by DOE's Low Dose Radiation Research Program.

Reference: Abbott, A. 2012. "Radiation Risks: Raiders of the Lost Archive," Nature 485, 162-3. (Reference link)

For background information on DOE radiobiology archives, see Haley, B., Q. Wang, B. Wanzer, S. Vogt, L. Finney, P. L. Yang, T. Paunesku, G. Woloschak. 2011. "Past and Future Work on Radiobiology Mega-Studies: A Case Study at Argonne National Laboratory," Health Physics Society Journal 100(6), 613-21. DOI: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3181febad3. (Reference link)

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

  • Legacy: Low Dose Radiation, Radiobiology

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


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