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Russian biologists transformed blood cells into comets

Researchers from the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics (Puschino, Moscow region) have studied the stability of white blood cells (leukocytes) and hematopoietic cells of spleen and red bone marrow towards radiation. The scientists have concluded that the response of various types of cells of a body to radiation has almost no correlation with its overall stability towards ionizing irradiation. The research article was published in the journal Radiation and Environmental Biology.
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The scientists have exposed cells of human, brown frog, and laboratory rodent to radiation and peroxides. Herewith, the damage rate has been measured using DNA-comets approach when broken DNA chain undergoes electrophoresis, elongates to one side and glows. Undamaged part of DNA looks like a head of the comet accompanied by a tail made of broken DNA.

The investigation has shown that the stability of studied cells towards ionizing irradiation and peroxides often does not correlate with the radioresistance rate of the whole body containing these cells. During exposure to X-rays and hydrogen peroxide, the most noticeable damage has been observed in case of leukocytes and spleen cells of rodents. However, at the same time, laboratory rodent is the most radioresistant type among test animals involved in the study. The DNA of human leukocytes has shown the resistance towards radiation comparable to those of a frog, although humans are considered to be less radioresistant. Additionally, the DNA reparation rate in cells of frog has appeared to be lower if compared to the case of human.

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