Saturday, April 23, 2016

Epilogue

Writing a book seems to be much like building a house, where the final trimming and painting seems to take as much time as the rest of the project. I started this manuscript in 1998, and the first draft was complete in 2000. But then, because of personal circumstances, I was forced to put the book aside for several years. There was not a day during that period that I didn't kick myself for not getting this information out.

I mention this since you, dear reader, may have noted a dearth of studies and references after the year 2000. It is not because they're not there, but because if I had started over to include them, I never would have finished.

There are, however, several highlights during this time that I feel compelled to mention:

Microbiology

In chapter 10 (A Day or So in the Life of a Cell), it was noted that individual cells exposed to radiation in vitro, behaved as the LNT would predict: the more radiation, the less healthy the cell. And conversely when the cell was part of a system of cells (in vivo), the group of cells appeared to respond to radiation stimulation as a group - as if they were talking among themselves about the stimulus.

While I still have trouble believing it, there are now devices called "micro beams" that can shoot a single alpha particle into a particular cell. Along with this, there are methods to determine the chemical response to the target cell, as well as the cells in its vicinity. These experiments have clearly determined that cells do communicate - which we would suspect, as part of a complex organism requiring numbers of different types of specializations for survival. This confirms the existence of a mechanism known as the bystander effect, whereby a limited number of cells receiving a low dose can communicate a message to a large number of sibling cells.