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Occupational Exposure To Radiation Causes Chromosome Aberrations

Professor Manoor Prakash Hande and his colleagues from National University of Singapore studied the effect of plutonium exposure and risk of developing Chromosomal aberrations leading to cancer// in Plutonium plant workers.

The study is mainly aimed at identifying biomarkers for easy detection and identification of chromosome aberrations. The study is also aimed at finding a link between complex chromosome aberrations and disease condition which would be helpful in establishing diagnosis and better treatment. The result of the study was published in the September issue of Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer.

Chromosome aberrations occur in DNA [Deoxyribonucleic acid], in which nucleotide breaks occurs in the chromosomes leading to aberrations, which may lead to cancer. Earlier studies of occupational exposure to ionizing radiations where carried out by the same author at Mayak weapons complex in Russia.

In plutonium exposed workers the chromosome aberrations occurred at a frequency of 3 percent compared to 0.2 percent in population who were not exposed or moderately exposed to plutonium. No chromosome aberrations occurred in workers who were not exposed to plutonium. The study report indicates that the frequency of simple chromosome abnormalities was similar in the highly exposed plutonium workers and workers exposed to high doses of sparsely ionizing gamma rays. The rate of complex chromosome aberrations closely correlated with rates of bone marrow exposure to plutonium.

SOURCE: Genes Chromosomes Cancer, September 2005.

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