Navigation Links
Berkeley Lab scientists developing quick way to id people exposed to ionizing radiation
Date:12/17/2012

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 injuriesall 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. The 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.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dan Krotz
dakrotz@lbl.gov
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Norwegian scientists win Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize
2. New technology allows scientists to capture and preserve cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream
3. No more lying about your age: Scientists can now gauge skin’s true age with new laser technique
4. Stem cell sticky spots recreated by scientists
5. Singapore scientists identify new biomarker for cancer in bone marrow
6. Scientists ID Gene That Shows Progression in ALS Patients
7. Scientists train honey bees to stick out their tongues
8. NIH scientists reflect on gains in emerging infectious disease awareness, research and response
9. 2 UT Southwestern scientists honored as rising stars in Texas research
10. Drug resistant leukemia stem cells may be source of genetic chaos, Temple scientists find
11. UCLA cancer scientists identify liposarcoma tumors that respond to chemotherapy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... “Wounded Woman Be Ye Healed-Passing ... Ye Healed-Passing On A Legacy” is the creation of published author, Desiree M Webb, ... grief ministry. She has been happily married to her husband, Paul, for over ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Ogden Clinic, the ... - centric payment system, to expand its focus on patient care by providing ... experience. , “At Ogden Clinic, we are working to become a different ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... “The Trainer”: an electrifying ... author, Scotty, a fiction writer with an active imagination and an enthusiasm for action ... follows the tale of Wild Bill Hart, who sat looking at the thirty-three notches ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Vortex Biosciences, provider of circulating tumor ... circulating tumor cells using microfluidic western blotting” in Nature Communications on March 23rd. ... to capture CTCs and a microfluidic single-CTC resolution Western blot from ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... ... of the first issue of its companion print magazine. The new magazine, scheduled ... surgery thanks to information provided by board-certified doctors from across the country. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 22, 2017  ImaginAb Inc. today announced the appointment of ... Joseph Limber , chairman of ImaginAb, said "At ImaginAb we ... that is directly relevant to our business, particularly in commercializing and ... with his leadership, we can realize our potential." ... Mr. Coombs is a recognized industry ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , 22. März 2017   VWR ... weltweit tätige Anbieter von Produkten und Dienstleistungen ... Erwerb von EPL Archives Inc. bekannt, eines ... Kunden im kompletten Zyklus regulierter Forschung, Entwicklung ... Proben, Speicherung von Dokumenten und Zusatzdienstleistungen zur ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Pharmaceutical ... 7.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $129.81 billion by ... forecasts for all the given segments on global as well as ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: