The experiments conducted on cultured HeLa (tissue culture) cells revealed that there is a limit of dose above which adaptive response was not observed and a limit of dose below which this response was not induced. The exposure of cells in the territories with elevated radiation background leads to genome instability which results in enhanced radiosensitivity. Investigations on the blood lymphocytes of people living in contaminated regions revealed that adaptive response was more significant in children whereas in adults there was slight increase. Acute irradiation serves as a tool revealing the changes that took place in DNA during chronic low level irradiations after Chernobyl disaster. (author).