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Possible cure for radiation sickness discovered?

By

July 21, 2009

No need to worry, it's just a nuclear blast

No need to worry, it's just a nuclear blast

According to a report in the Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronoth, US and Israeli researchers have developed a drug that offers protection from the damaging effects of radiation sickness. The medication could not only provide effective protection in the event of a nuclear or “dirty bomb” attack, but it could also enable cancer patients to be treated with more powerful doses of radiation.

Experiments carried out by Professor Andrei Gudkov, Chief Scientific Officer at Cleveland BioLabs, and his team exposed more than 650 monkeys split into two groups to a radiation dosage equal to the highest dosage sustained by humans as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. Of the group that didn’t receive the cure 70% died, with the survivors suffering from the obvious effects of radiation sickness. However, almost all the monkeys in the group given the medication survived, with most of them exhibiting no side effects.

The tests also showed that injecting the medication between 24 hours before exposure to 72 hours after exposure produced similar results, although Prof. Gudkov emphasized that the drug doesn’t provide 100% protection against radioactive damage. Another test, which involved giving the drug to humans without exposing them to radiation, showed no signs of side effects and indicated the drug is safe for human use.

The medication is the end result of an idea Prof. Gudkov had in 2003 to use protein produced in bacteria found in the intestine to protect cells from radiation. Five years and much hard work later has produced a medication that works by suppressing the “suicide mechanism” of cells hit by radiation, while at the same time enabling them to recover from the radiation-induced damage that triggered the suicide mechanism in the first place. The medication itself is not a vaccine, but a preventative drug that is administered as one or a series of injections.

Thanks to a shortened test track approved for bio-defense drugs Prof. Gudkov’s company expects to complete a set of expanded safety tests by mid-2010, with the medication expected to be approved for use by the FDA within a year or two, provided experiments continue at the current rate.

Israeli news site, YNet News, points to the strategic military advantage such a breakthrough would deliver as well as the medical importance of the medication, which could allow cancer patients to be exposed to greater doses of radiation offering a more powerful weapon in the fight against the disease. The medication could also provide some comfort for those situated close to nuclear power stations.

Source: YNet News, Cleveland BioLabs.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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10 Comments

Oh great, now what is to keep them from nuking everybody around them when they have this perfected.

Druid
22nd July, 2009 @ 07:38 am PDT

So now you'll now have plenty of time to enjoy your radiation supplied super-powers and not die from said radiation. Yay for all.

But on a serious note, this is absolutely incredible.

Andrew Leech
22nd July, 2009 @ 04:07 pm PDT

to good to believe. but if it true , its a gift to human kind to treat deadly cancer.

i hope it will available in next three years?

razif
22nd July, 2009 @ 06:01 pm PDT

If it protects cells and enables them to recover from radiation damage, would it not also affect cancer cells the same way?

Brian L Lymer
22nd July, 2009 @ 09:37 pm PDT

650 monkeys dead...we truly are disgusting creatures.

Richard Andrew Kirkpatrick
23rd July, 2009 @ 05:52 am PDT

fallout 3 rad-x??

purplesniper
24th July, 2009 @ 08:38 pm PDT

Richard, can you NOT READ? The 650 monkeys were divided into TWO groups (350 each, presumably). Not ALL of the untreeated monkeys died, and almost none of the treated monkeys died. That means that AT MOST 350 monkeys died.

Would you prefer that several MILLION people died? If so, maybe it could be arranged for YOU to be a test subject next time!!!!

James Howard Tennyson
24th March, 2011 @ 10:03 am PDT

Here is how Radiation effects the human body:

http://www.standeyo.com/News_Files/NBC/radiation.human.body.html

Nuclear radiation, plutonium and other poisons entering our environment wherever we are. The effects of radiation include cancer, DNA damage, reproductive damage, hormonal damage, and thyroid damage (that's why they want you to take potassium iodine, another dangerous toxin) but I wouldn't. There is a much safer substances.

Instead you can use natural substances. There is one that is strong enough to protect against radiation. A good article on radiation sickness protection that shows what you can do is here:

http://thehealingfrequency.com/japan-reactor-fukushima-nuclear-radiation-protection/

And to make sure the water you drink is safe, look at the following article:

http://thehealingfrequency.com/nuclear-radiation-and-water-purification-tablet-adya-clarity-minerals/

Facebook User
1st April, 2011 @ 07:22 pm PDT

James, you rudely comment about someone not being able to read, but apparently you can't do math. Last time I checked, if you divide 650 monkeys into two groups, you wouldn't have 350 in each group.

I think Richard has a very good point and just because a drug might (or might not) save lives doesn't automatically give us permission to commit arbitrary atrocities against hundreds of other beings. Killing a person or an animal through radiation exposure and sickness is torture. And when someone makes a conscientious objection, it shouldn't be met with insensitive, dismissive comments like: "maybe it could be arranged for YOU to be a test subject next time!!!" That's not an argument and someone could equally say back that if you're so eager to volunteer others, perhaps you should volunteer yourself.

electroman
6th April, 2011 @ 05:45 pm PDT

I think what James meant to say is that animal testing is a necessary evil given the fact that we cant do this kind of destructive testing on humans. Biologically monkeys share the most of our total genome compared to humans, the next alternative would be rats and mice. However this would not produce the results needed to scientifically provide the adequate data that regulators require to ensure the safe use of this on humans. As morally objectionable as this may seem, until there are suitable alternatives that don't legally impede the progress of medical science - the use of organisms other than monkeys to do this kind of research remains impossible. To make this kind of progress unacceptable means the inevitable halt of most forms of pharmacological research and subsequently the stagnation of progress. This I think is the reasoning for the strong feelings evident in his post along with the propensity for people that advocate animal rights in this context to be ignorant of the "bigger picture" and even overtly welcome a halt in the advancement of medical science that so many of us rely to save us, and the reason behind the "them or us" reasoning behind many posts of this nature. Such is the way things are and until someone can provide a suitable alternative that is close enough to the analogue of a working human biological system this practice will continue.

Alberto Gordillo
15th January, 2013 @ 01:47 am PST
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