AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] dose RATE of ANY Medicine is the decisive variable

Ted Rockwell tedrock at
Fri Sep 8 10:50:20 CDT 2006

Thank you, Rainer.  That confirms my detailed discussion last night with
Myron Pollycove.  He notes that radiation does create more double-strand
breaks than metabolic and other chemical-type damage.  He has conservatively
assumed 2% double-breaks vs. one in ten thousand for metabolic.  He tells me
that the number for radiation has now been directly measured and reported by
two different researchers, each agreeing on a number like 0.2%.  So it would
take 100s of rad to produce as many double-breaks by radiation as are
routinely produced by metabolism.

This says to me that the argument that "radiation is different" has little
real meaning.  And that is the fundamental point about my "realism
argument"; radiation is not some mysterious, unknowable phenomenon from
which no "ordinary measures" can ever provide adequate protection.  Nor does
the "injured cell" lie around as a unique hazard to the body.  It suffers
the same fate as all other cells.  It dies and is replaced.

Otto: I am anxious to know whether you believe I am missing something.  If I
am right, your statement is a distinction without a difference.  No?

Ted Rockwell

> From: <Rainer.Facius at>
> Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2006 16:53:58 +0200
> To: <tedrock at>, <Jim.Muckerheide at>,
> <muckerheide at>, <ograabe at>, <hflong at>,
> <radsafe at>
> Cc: <rad-sci-l at>, <Rad_Sci_Health at>
> Conversation: AW: [ RadSafe ] dose RATE of ANY Medicine is the decisive
> variable
> Subject: AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] dose RATE of ANY Medicine is the decisive
> variable
> Ted:
> On the atomic/molecular level there may be a certain fraction of primary
> lesions (altered molecules) which do not arise in 'normal' cell metabolism -
> though of course I would refrain from claiming that we know ALL about 'normal'
> metabolisms. Experimentally we know that densely ionizing radiation such as
> heavy ions produces qualitatively - in contrast to quantitatively - different
> species of altered/damaged molecules (which by the way - apart from other
> reasons -invalidates the concept of RBE). To the extent that some fraction of
> deposited energy even from 'sparsely' ionizing radiation leads to spatial and
> temporal dense concentrations of ionizations it is not unreasonable to claim
> that also under low LET radiation molecular damage may ensue which does
> not/cannot arise in 'normal' metabolism.
> Nevertheless, the prime message of virtually all findings of the recent 'new
> radiobiology' in my view is:
> "Abandon hope all ye target theory modelers: on the effects of low dose
> exposures to ionizing radiation and other carcinogens" [Jeffrey L. Schwartz,
> Mutation Research 568(2004)3-4]
> Viz, the initial molecular damage (even that to DNA) is in NO WAY predictive
> for the final biological result, (already) on the cellular level, but
> definitely on the tissue, organ, and whole system level. So I would discard -
> unless SPECIFIC molecular species and their SPECIFIC pathways would be invoked
> - this 
> "Yeah, but radiation is different."
> as the irrelevant hand-waving pseudo argument that is, reflecting (with
> hindsight) the state of knowledge 20+ years ago.
> Kind regards, Rainer
> ________________________________
> Von: radsafe-bounces at im Auftrag von Ted Rockwell
> Gesendet: Do 07.09.2006 21:43
> An: Muckerheide-MA; Muckerheide-home; Facius, Rainer; Raabe, Otto; Long,
> Howard; radsafe at
> Cc: Rad-Sci-L; Rad_Sci_Health at
> Betreff: Re: AW: [ RadSafe ] dose RATE of ANY Medicine is the decisive
> variable
> Jim:
> I understand that much (I think), but is there a real biological, and
> logical, basis for saying that the processes involved in radiation damage
> (and healing, or progression to cancer)  are of a fundamentally different
> kind than damage from metabolism or other stimuli?  For if they are, then
> the whole Pollycove/Feinendegen argument fails.  I think a lot hangs on the
> validity, or invalidity of the argument (that seems to trump all others)
> that ³Yeah, but radiation is different.²
> I¹d like to get really clear on that.
> Ted Rockwell

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