Doctors whose bodies are regularly exposed to x-rays may be adapting at the cellular level to protect themselves against radiation, according to a new study. The research hints that humans could adapt to withstand radiation exposure.
In a small study, interventional cardiologists, who perform heart operations using catheters guided by x-rays, had higher levels of hydrogen peroxide in their blood, which indicates potentially harmful changes. But they also had higher levels of an antioxidant that protects against cell damage, and their white blood cells had more of an enzyme involved in programmed cell death.
Researchers in Italy believe the hydrogen peroxide indicates the radiation causes harm, and that this induces a protective response — the antioxidant, called glutathione, protects cells, and the enzyme that induces apoptosis could reflect the body's way of killing off cells that have been damaged by radiation.
Scientists led by Gian Luigi Russo, a senior research scientist at the Italian National Research Council, examined 10 interventional cardiologists and 10 health workers who were not exposed to radiation. They examined the cardiologists' radiation badges and extrapolated their lifetime exposure, and then took blood samples to test for hydrogen peroxide, glutathione and the enzyme caspase-3.
Interventional cardiologists receive a higher annual radiation dose than radiologists, because of the way they do their work. A patient is exposed to high radiation levels so the doctor can see the catheter they're using to perform certain minimally invasive heart procedures. To do this, the cardiologist has to work close to the radiation source. These x-ray guided procedures have nearly doubled from 1993 to 2006, the researchers report — meaning the relatively small doses add up over time.
"Our findings clearly emphasize for the first time that exposure to a level of radiation which is considered 'safe' by regulatory standards for interventional cardiologists can induce a profound biochemical and cellular adaptation," Russo said in a news release.
Doctors should not stop working with radiation, he noted — they just need to ensure their own protection.
"A good cardiologist should not be afraid of life-saving radiation, but must be afraid of radiation unawareness and negligence."
The research is published in the European Heart Journal.
No reports on invisibility, abnormal strength, telekinesis or the ability to communicate with animals? Not yet? That's a shame... one day... one day...
The super powers only come after the badge turns colors. I had one of those badges in the military, and my powers didn't develop until after I got hit with a high enough dosage to make the badge glow.
My super power: I have two, I am rubber and I can turn your into glue....
This is good news, after we wipe out most of the life on this planet because some religious zeolot who doesn't believe in science uses nuclear bombs to level the place, the mutants that remain will still be able to drink the water and eat the food.
This could could be a promising sign for human deep space exploration. We might deal with cosmic radiation better than we first anticipated.
Hello? Doctors? Doctors don't work that much with radiation, don't you mean radiological techs or radiological nurses. Are we to assume that anything notable or worthwhile having to do with medicine always relates to doctors? Plus the word "doctor" also refers to those with Phd degrees so it doesn't work for clarity either. I was an RN for many years and never saw a doctor give a shot or do CPR. Anything that happens in medicine is a team approach which sometimes includes doctors. Seems you've been watching too much House or Gray's Anatomy.
The theory of hormesis radiation has been known for years. Yearly exposure up to 2 REM (non acute –whole body -gamma) a year has been shown to have some good side effects.
We just chose to ignore this positive exposure model for a negative linear damage dose model because “sunshine units” just doesn’t work for the sheeple.
i would say interventional radiologic technologists are the most prone to REM. There is a doctor in the room, then that doctor leaves and a different one comes in, but the technologist stays. Their numbers(REM) are also higher from the dosimeter badge. P.S. I'm a radiologic technologist on the job right now!!! shhhh
Did you read the article?
Is a cardiologist not a doctor?
Kindly STFU then.
Truly sucks when people don't read the article.
"Honey!" I feel like ribs for dinner!
I think sacridias needs some more radiation. A lot more. A whole lot more. I mean medication.
Radiation is bad for you. Nothing can change that.
Just to read this with a German accent too. ;)
Doctors! Doctors, please pay attention as I teach this class. If you look very carefully at the x-ray, you can see how Mr. Pepody was blowing up a balloon and then swallowed it very quickly. SEE! SEE! The x-ray! Yes, very interesting.... aw,huh.
They say certain bugs are resistant to radiation, so maybe we are closely related to bugs, then.
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan