Sunday, November 28, 2010

Review of the #TSA X-ray backscatter body scanner safety report: hide your kids, hide your wife | My Helical Tryst

Another scientist with insightful comments in opposition to the airport full-body X-ray image scanners.


via My Helical Tryst by Jason on 11/26/10

I am a biochemist working in the field of biophysics. Specifically, the lab I work in (as well as many others) has spent the better part of the last decade working on the molecular mechanism of how mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2, result in cancer. The result of that work is that we now better understand that people who have a deficient BRCA2 gene are hypersensitive to DNA damage, which can be caused by a number of factors including: UV exposure, oxidative stress, improper chromosomal replication and segregation, and radiation exposure. The image below shows what happens to a chromosome of a normal cell when it is exposed to radiation. It most cases, this damage is repaired; however, at high doses or when there is a genetic defect, the cells either die or become cancerous.

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