Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Epigenetics could help researchers determine any risks associated with low-dose radiation

Date:
February 2, 2010
Source:
American College of Radiology / American Roentgen Ray Society
Summary:
There remains a lack of consensus amongst the medical and scientific communities about any cancer risk from low level radiation, particularly low-dose radiation delivered from computed tomography (CT) scans. However, the study of epigenetics may play a role in determining whether or not future trends of diseases can in fact be linked to utilization of CT, according to a new article.

There remains a lack of consensus amongst the medical and scientific communities about any cancer risk from low level radiation, particularly low-dose radiation delivered from computed tomography (CT) scans. However, the study of epigenetics may play a role in determining whether or not future trends of diseases can in fact be linked to utilization of CT, according to an article in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR).

The term epigenetics refers to changes in the phenotype (appearance) or gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. These changes may remain through cell divisions for the remainder of the cell's life and may also last for multiple generations.

"Radiation safety is, without a doubt, a large concern for practicing radiologists today," said Shella Farooki, MD, author of the article and radiologist and director of research for Columbus Radiology Corp in Columbus, OH. "However, the current focus does not account for the possibility of harm to future generations from radiation delivered today. I believe that it is equally, if not more important, to consider potential harm to the patient's offspring and their offspring's offspring," she said.

"The effects of ionizing radiation have been demonstrated in neighboring cells (non-targeted radiation), known as the bystander effect. In addition, ionizing radiation effects have been shown to span generations, resulting in heritable defects in mice. However, we need to bridge the gap between understanding the epigenome functionality and radiation exposure before assuming anything," said Farooki.

"In 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that $190 million had been earmarked for epigenetics research over the next five years," she said. In announcing the funding, government officials noted that epigenetics had the potential to explain mechanisms of aging, human development, and the origins of cancer, heart disease, mental illness, as well as other conditions.

"Epigenetics may ultimately turn out to have a greater role in health and disease and treatment of genetics itself; and given this knowledge, one wonders if future trends in diseases will be linked to today's utilization of CT," said Farooki.

"Clearly, long term epidemiological studies are needed to answer this question, but in the meantime, we are faced with the continued struggle of radiation risk versus benefit," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Radiology / American Roentgen Ray Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American College of Radiology / American Roentgen Ray Society. "Epigenetics could help researchers determine any risks associated with low-dose radiation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201091628.htm>.
American College of Radiology / American Roentgen Ray Society. (2010, February 2). Epigenetics could help researchers determine any risks associated with low-dose radiation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201091628.htm
American College of Radiology / American Roentgen Ray Society. "Epigenetics could help researchers determine any risks associated with low-dose radiation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201091628.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 12, 2014) Hundreds of children in several states have been stricken by a serious respiratory illness that is spreading across the U.S. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 12, 2014) The World Health Organisation warns that local health workers in West Africa can't keep up with Ebola - and among those countries hardest hit by the outbreak, the economic damage is coming into focus, too. As David Pollard reports, Sierra Leone admits that growth in one of the poorest economies in the region is taking a beating. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins