Chromosome mechanics of fungi under spaceflight conditions--tetrad analysis of two-factor crosses between spore color mutants of Sordaria macrospora. (1/99)

Spore color mutants of the fungus Sordaria macrospora Auersw. were crossed under spaceflight conditions on the space shuttle to MIR mission S/MM 05 (STS-81). The arrangement of spores of different colors in the asci allowed conclusions on the influence of spaceflight conditions on sexual recombination in fungi. Experiments on a 1-g centrifuge in space and in parallel on the ground were used for controls. The samples were analyzed microscopically on their return to earth. Each fruiting body was assessed separately. Statistical analysis of the data showed a significant increase in gene recombination frequencies caused by the heavy ion particle stream in space radiation. The lack of gravity did not influence crossing-over frequencies. Hyphae of the flown samples were assessed for DNA strand breaks. No increase in damage was found compared with the ground samples. It was shown that S. macrospora is able to repair radiation-induced DNA strand breaks within hours.  (+info)

Incidence of cancer among commercial airline pilots. (2/99)

OBJECTIVES: To describe the cancer pattern in a cohort of commercial pilots by follow up through the Icelandic Cancer Registry. METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of 458 pilots with emphasis on subcohort working for an airline operating on international routes. A computerised file of the cohort was record linked to the Cancer Registry by making use of personal identification numbers. Expected numbers of cancer cases were calculated on the basis of number of person-years and incidences of cancer at specific sites for men provided by the Cancer Registry. Numbers of separate analyses were made according to different exposure variables. RESULTS: The standardised incidence ratio (SIR) for all cancers was 0.97 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.62 to 1.46) in the total cohort and 1.16 (95% CI 0.70 to 1.81) among those operating on international routes. The SIR for malignant melanoma of the skin was 10.20, 95% CI 3.29 to 23.81 in the total cohort and 15.63, 95% CI 5.04 to 36.46 in the restricted cohort. Analyses according to number of block-hours and radiation dose showed that malignant melanomas were found in the subgroups with highest exposure estimates, the SIRs were 13.04 and 28.57 respectively. The SIR was 25.00 for malignant melanoma among those who had been flying over five time zones. CONCLUSIONS: The study shows a high occurrence of malignant melanoma among pilots. It is open to discussion what role exposure of cosmic radiation, numbers of block-hours flown, or lifestyle factors--such as possible excessive sunbathing--play in the aetiology of cancer among pilots. This calls for further and more powerful studies. The excess of malignant melanoma among those flying over five time zones suggests that the importance of disturbance of the circadian rhythm should be taken into consideration in future studies.  (+info)

Daily periodicity in the activity of a slide used to perform immunologic reactions at a liquid-solid interface. (3/99)

Nickel-plated slides were prepared by evaporating a nickel layer (congruent to 4000 A thick) on glass slides in the presence of a magnetic field whose lines of force were perpendicular to the surface of the slides. Such slides are called active. After being coated with a layer of bovine albumin, they could absorb a layer of antibodies 70-80 A thick. However, if the active slides before they were coated with bovine serum albumin, were submitted to a magnetic field with lines of force parallel to the surface, the layer of antibodies absorbed was only 40 A thick. They had become inactive. It has been found that slides remain active at night but that shortly after sunrise they become slowly inactivated and reach a minimum in their activity at exactly the midday period. They regain full activity at sunset. It is shown that the inactivation results from a solar radiation that can be stopped by 3.5 cm of lead. On December 13th, 1974 there was an eclipse of the sun with 65% occultation at noon (Daylight Saving Time). The activity of the slide at noon was 65% of the maximum activity (83 A) observed before sunrise. The thickness of the adsorbed layer of antibodies were 75 A instead of 63 A observed in the absence of the eclipse. The activation of the slides originates in a radiation of non-solar origin that is adsorbed by 1 can of lead.  (+info)

p53 deficiency alters the yield and spectrum of radiation-induced lacZ mutants in the brain of transgenic mice. (4/99)

Exposure to heavy particle radiation in the galacto-cosmic environment poses a significant risk in space exploration and the evaluation of radiation-induced genetic damage in tissues, especially in the central nervous system, is an important consideration in long-term manned space missions. We used a plasmid-based transgenic mouse model system, with the pUR288 lacZ transgene integrated in the genome of every cell of C57Bl/6(lacZ) mice, to evaluate the genetic damage induced by iron particle radiation. In order to examine the importance of genetic background on the radiation sensitivity of individuals, we cross-bred p53 wild-type lacZ transgenic mice with p53 nullizygous mice, producing lacZ transgenic mice that were either hemizygous or nullizygous for the p53 tumor suppressor gene. Animals were exposed to an acute dose of 1 Gy of iron particles and the lacZ mutation frequency (MF) in the brain was measured at time intervals from 1 to 16 weeks post-irradiation. Our results suggest that iron particles induced an increase in lacZ MF (2.4-fold increase in p53+/+ mice, 1.3-fold increase in p53+/- mice and 2.1-fold increase in p53-/- mice) and that this induction is both temporally regulated and p53 genotype dependent. Characterization of mutants based on their restriction patterns showed that the majority of the mutants arising spontaneously are derived from point mutations or small deletions in all three genotypes. Radiation induced alterations in the spectrum of deletion mutants and reorganization of the genome, as evidenced by the selection of mutants containing mouse genomic DNA. These observations are unique in that mutations in brain tissue after particle radiation exposure have never before been reported owing to technical limitations in most other mutation assays.  (+info)

Cosmic radiation protection dosimetry using an Electronic personal Dosemeter (Siemens EPD) on selected international flights. (5/99)

The effectiveness of an Electronic Personal Dosemeter (Siemens EPD) for cosmic-radiation dosimetry at aviation altitudes was examined on eight international flights between March and September, 1998. The EPD values (Hepd) of the dose equivalent from penetrating radiation, Hp(10), were assumed to be almost the same as the electron absorbed doses during those flights. Based on the compositions of cosmic radiation in the atmosphere and the 1977 ICRP recommendation, an empirical equation to conservatively estimate the personal dose equivalent (Hp77) at a depth of 5 cm was derived as Hp77 = 3.1 x Hepd. The personal dose equivalent (Hp90) based on the 1990 ICRP recommendation was given by Hp90 = 4.6 x Hepd; the conservative feature of Hp90 was confirmed in a comparison with the calculated effective doses by means of the CARI-6 code. It is thus expected that the EPD will be effectively used for radiation protection dosimetry on selected international flights.  (+info)

Cancer incidence among Norwegian airline cabin attendants. (6/99)

BACKGROUND: Cabin crews are exposed to cosmic radiation at work and this may increase their incidence of radiation-induced cancers. Former studies indicate an increased risk of breast cancer. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed. The cohort was established from the files of the Civil Aviation Administration and included people with a valid licence as a cabin attendant between 1950 and 1994. The cohort was linked to the Cancer Registry of Norway. Observed number of cases was compared with expected, based on national rates. Breast cancer incidence was analysed, adjusting for individual fertility variables. RESULTS: A group of 3693 cabin attendants were followed over 72 804 person-years. Among the women, 38 cases of breast cancer were observed (standardized incidence ratio (SIR) = 1.1, 95% CI : 0.8-1.5). Among men excess risks were found for cancers in the upper respiratory and gastric tract (SIR = 6.0, 95% CI : 2.7-11.4) and cancer of the liver (two cases, SIR = 10.8, 95% CI : 1.3-39.2). For both sexes elevated risks were found for malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer; for men these were SIR = 2.9 (95% CI : 1.1-6.4) and SIR = 9.9 (95% CI : 4.5-18.8) respectively, while for women these were SIR = 1.7 (95% CI : 1.0-2.7) and SIR = 2.9 (95% CI : 1.0-6.9) respectively. For no cancer site was a significant decreased risk found. CONCLUSIONS: An increased risk of radiation-induced cancers was not observed. The excess risks of some other cancers are more probably explained by factors related to lifestyle.  (+info)

Cell growth and morphology of Dictyostelium discoideum in space environment. (7/99)

Two strains of cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, a radiation-sensitive mutant and the parental wild-type strain, were used to investigate the effects of microgravity and/or cosmic radiation on their morphology through the whole life span from spores to fruiting bodies for about 7 days in space shuttle of NASA. We found almost no effect of space environment on amoeba cell growth in both strains. It was also observed that almost the same number and shape of fruiting bodies in space compared to the control experiments on earth. These results suggest that there is little effect of microgravity and space radiation on germination, cell aggregation, cell differentiation and cell morphology in the cellular slime mold.  (+info)

Mutation frequency of Dictyostelium discoideum spores exposed to the space environment. (8/99)

Two strains of cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, a radiosensitive mutant and the parental wild-type strain, were used to investigate the effects of cosmic radiation on viability and mutation frequency at the spore stage for about 9 days in Space Shuttle of NASA. We measured little effect of space environment on viability and cell growth in the both strains as compared to ground controls. The mutation frequency of the flown spores were similar to that of ground control. These results suggest that there could be no effect of cosmic radiation, containing high linear energy transfer radiation at about 0.9 mSv/day as detected by real-time radiation monitoring device on the induction of mutation at the spore stage.  (+info)