Conference Proceedings Paper
The Biology of Low-Dose Radiation Response
37th Annual CNS-CNA Student Conference - 2013 June 11
Stacy Muise (University of Calgary)
The biology of radiation response is a multifaceted issue that informs policies which affect the entire nuclear industry. Ionizing radiation has high enough energy to produce ions and break molecular bonds when it interacts with matter. When these interactions occur in living organisms, cellular damage may result in adverse health effects including cancer. At high doses, the relationship between dose and radiation response seems linear above 100 mSv; however, the relationship below this dose range is unclear, with some evidence supporting hormetic (beneficial) effects. The process of investigating these effects is complicated by individual factors that affect the response in this dose range. This paper explores the environmental, genetic and epigenetic factors that affect low-dose biological radiation response, along with the mechanisms through which they act. Understanding these factors could help inform risk assessment and personalized health care.
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