[ RadSafe ] DNA Repair

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Tue Oct 20 16:19:23 CDT 2015

Hi, Joe.

A couple of points:  

(1) Every sperm (or egg) is NOT sacred; they are produced and discarded with such wild abandon that you need scientific notation to describe the success rate.  Even when the two meet up and fertilization occurs the error rate is non-trivial, and the normal response is death or non-viability.

(2) I don't see resorting to Intelligent Design as either indicated or useful.  I played in the Theory of Evolution vs Intelligent Design for years, and believe the evidence that ID is just "Creationism dressed in a lab coat".  It is political, not scientific, with the goal of getting Creationism (by another name) taught as science.  It offers no paths of inquiry that are not available without the assumption of an Intelligent Designer.

I think the research on DNA repair may well have a huge impact on our understanding of radiation and its effect on biology.  It would almost be disappointing if the new understanding didn't require a rethink of the models, and perhaps some changes in standards and regulations.  That should be interesting, as those also tend to be more political than scientific, and are likely resistant to evolving.   

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Joseph Preisig
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 4:45 PM
To: radsafe
Subject: [ RadSafe ] DNA Repair

Dear Radsafe,

     The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry involves cellular repair of damaged DNA.  This could be a big game-changer for things going on in Health Physics.  I expect books like Eric Hall's text on Radiation Biology/Biophysics will have to add a chapter about all this.

     Up until now, we've been interested in Single Strand (DNA) breaks, Double Strand Breaks, knock-on collisions, various physics scattering and reaction processes etc.  Now, in addition to the body producing DNA in our reproductive factories, these chemists are suggesting that cellular DNA repair is occurring.  This appears to be in addition to the processes of hormesis.

     So, perhaps our understanding of mutation and cancer production will have to be modified to account for cellular repair of damaged/broken DNA.
The body/cells are actively trying to repair damaged DNA.  No wonder every sperm (or egg) is sacred.....the body is making an effort to keep DNA somewhat perfect.

     One might wonder how the process of evolution will be affected by DNA repair.  Is intelligent design a more realistic process in view of DNA repair.  Or can both processes occur?

     I suspect some/much junk DNA gives rate, offset, acceleration, feedback, control information for various bodily tissues and organs.  Human DNA is mapped, but it isn't necessarily fully understood.  Have a good week.
      Joe Preisig
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