skip to main content

Title: Cell damage seen from Chernobyl

The 30 kilometer radius forbidden zone around the Chernobyl atomic plant serves as a sobering reminder of the world's worst nuclear accident. But for former Soviet biologists, it's also a unique natural laboratory. And one scientist, Nadejda Gulaya of Kiev's Pallaguine Institute of Biochemistry, has been doing studies that she claims offer surprising evidence of Chernobyl's after-effects. Prolonged exposure to radioactive fallout from the 1986 accident, she says, has caused damage to cell membranes in both animals and humans. For the past year, Gulaya has been comparing tissues from animals such as mink, pigs, and rodents inhabiting the Chernobyl area with those from other parts of Ukraine. Her conclusion: Exposure to radiation has, in many cases, caused alterations to membrane phospholipids. These changes, are similar to those that disrupt cellular metabolism following exposure to oxidizing free radicals. Gulaya also has preliminary data from human studies. She claims to have found similar alterations in the neurons of people who have died since being exposed to Chernobyl radiation. That leads her to speculate that the frequent psychiatric disorders may not just be from mental stress or radiophobia, but might reflect actual damage to the central nervous system.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
7005605
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Science (Washington, D.C.); (United States); Journal Volume: 257:5069
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; ANIMAL CELLS; BIOLOGICAL RADIATION EFFECTS; IONIZING RADIATIONS; TOXICITY; CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM; CHERNOBYLSK-4 REACTOR; FALLOUT; MEMBRANE PROTEINS; RADICALS; UKRAINIAN SSR; ASIA; BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; DEVELOPED COUNTRIES; ENRICHED URANIUM REACTORS; EUROPE; GRAPHITE MODERATED REACTORS; LWGR TYPE REACTORS; NERVOUS SYSTEM; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; POWER REACTORS; PROTEINS; RADIATION EFFECTS; RADIATIONS; REACTORS; THERMAL REACTORS; USSR; WATER COOLED REACTORS 560120* -- Radiation Effects on Biochemicals, Cells, & Tissue Culture