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Space Radiation Induced Cytogenetic Damage in the Blood Lymphocytes of AstronautsCytogenetic analysis of astronauts blood lymphocytes provides a direct in vivo measurement of space radiation damage, which takes into account individual radiosensitivity and considers the influence of microgravity and other stress conditions. We present our latest analyses of chromosome damage in astronauts blood lymphocytes assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) chromosome painting and collected at various times beginning directly after return from space to several years after flight. Dose was derived from frequencies of chromosome exchanges using preflight calibration curves, and the Relative Biological Effect (RBE) was estimated by comparison with individually measured physically absorbed doses. Values for average RBE were compared to the average quality factor (Q), from direct measurements of the lineal energy spectra using a tissue-equivalent proportional counter (TEPC) and radiation transport codes. Results prove that cytogenetic biodosimetry analyses on blood collected within a week or two of return from space provides a reliable estimate of equivalent radiation dose and risk after protracted exposure to space radiation of a few months or more. However, data collected several months or years after flight suggests that the yield of chromosome translocations may decline with time after the mission, indicating that retrospective doses may be more difficult to estimate. In addition, limited data on multiple flights show a lack of correlation between time in space and translocation yields. Data from one crewmember, who has participated in two separate long-duration space missions and has been followed up for over 10 years, provide limited information on the effect of repeat flights and show a possible adaptive response to space radiation exposure.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
George, K.
(Wyle Labs., Inc. Houston, TX, United States)
Cucinotta, F. A.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2008
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Meeting Information
Meeting: 59th International Astronautical Congress - Abstracts
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Country: United Kingdom
Start Date: September 29, 2008
End Date: October 3, 2008
Sponsors: International Astronautical Federation
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