Tag Archives | radiation


Plastic could work as shield against space radiation hazards

xperiments carried out aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) indicate that light plastic materials may provide sufficient radiation shielding for astronauts on future missions into deep space. Aluminum has traditionally been the primary material used in spacecraft construction, but it provides relatively little protection against high-energy cosmic rays and can add so much mass to […]

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Radiation exposure from “dark lightning” quantified

Over the last decade, scientists learnt that thunderstorms are capable of generating brief but powerful bursts of gamma-rays calledterrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs). These flashes of gamma-rays are so bright they can blind instruments many hundreds of kilometers away in outer space. Because they can originate at the same altitudes at which commercial aircraft fly, scientists […]

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Nuke decontamination pill “highly effective”

Rapid, mass decontamination following a nuclear reactor accident or terrorist “dirty bomb” attack may be in the offing with Berkeley Lab researchers reporting they have begun seeking FDA approval for trials of an orally administered decontamination agent. The process of decontaminating the body of radioactive particles hasn’t advanced much in half a century, with only […]

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Radiation’s bad rep a beat-up, controversial new research claims

University of Massachusetts toxicologist Edward Calabrese claims to have evidence that Nobel Prize winner Hermann Muller knowingly lied when he claimed in 1946 that there is no safe level of radiation exposure. Calabrese says that Muller and other researchers had actually established threshold levels where the effects of radiation were benign – or even helpful […]

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Radiation exposure impacting gender ratio

Analyzing data from population centers around normally functioning nuclear power stations, German researchers have found an increased percentage of male births. The researchers, Hagen Scherb and Kristina Voigt, from Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich, also looked at data from countries exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl accident. The findings appear inEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research. Scherb […]

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Lightning unleashes potent radiation cocktail

Physicists have estimated that air travelers could be exposed to a dose of X-rays, gamma rays and high-energy electrons equal to that from 400 chest X-rays if their plane happens to be near a lightning discharge. The scientists, from the Florida Institute of Technology, University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Florida, say […]

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Take Two Rads And Call Me In The Morning

Gamma rays may have turned mild-mannered Bruce Banner into the Hulk, but in the real-world radiation exposure tends to be more mundane – although no less dangerous. In high enough doses it causes death while chronic exposure is firmly linked to the development of cancer. But one maverick professor believes that short-term controlled exposure to […]

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Quantifying Space Radiation Dangers

With plans for a manned mission to Mars on the drawing board, researchers from the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center are working to quantify the risk astronauts on long voyages will face from exposure to the high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation found in space. LET radiation is found in solar […]

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Manganese Key To Radiation-Proofing Of Organisms

Exploring methods to protect living organisms from chronic or acute doses of radiation, military researchers say they have uncovered how an unusual bacterium manages to deal with radiation exposure that would kill any other living creature. Describing their work in PLoS Biology, the researchers from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) say […]

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Big Bang Brouhaha Brewing

The disturbing lack of evidence of microwave “shadows” from nearby galactic clusters is raising new questions about the faint glow of microwave radiation once hailed as proof of the Big Bang theory. The scientists, from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), used new, highly accurate measurements of the cosmic microwave background from NASA’s Wilkinson […]

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