Research is focused on chronic low to medium dose rate gamma radiation from the NMBU Co-60 source. The main hypothesis is that an organism’s capacity to mitigate oxidative stress and thus maintain essential enzyme functions determines its ability to repair damage inflicted on essential macromolecules such as DNA. The indirect effects of ionizing radiation, particularly the formation of free radicals (ROS and RNS), can in turn damage cell components and cause perturbation in signaling systems and metabolism. It is further hypothesized that stem cells comprise the organismal function most susceptible to damage by radiation, and that ‘late effects’ such as developmental malformations, or reproductive defects, originate from damage to stem cell populations.
On photo above: Nematode C. elegans reporter strain (GA508) with GFP embedded with the gene Sod1 (oxidative stress in vivo monitoring)