Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Demo Company

Determining How Low Energy Electrons Damage DNA May Enhance Radiation Protection Strategies

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 13 Nov 2013
Print article
A new study by a group of French and Canadian researchers has produced clues into a little-examined but common radiation threat to DNA: low-energy electrons (LEEs), with energies of 0–15 eV.

The scientists have devised the preliminary model of a close DNA cellular environment under threat from LEEs, revealing for the first time their effects on DNA in natural, biologic conditions. Their study was published online August 8, 2013, in the Journal of Chemical Physics.

The investigators’ project is a significant move toward determining how LEEs injure DNA because it provides a realistic research platform for analysis of results. The goal is to use this knowledge to improve current uses of radiation, such as in cancer treatments.

“The way by which these electrons can damage DNA, and how much damage they inflict, quantitatively, is of major importance not only for general radiation protection purposes, but also for improving the efficiency and safety of therapeutic and diagnostic radiation therapy,” said Dr. Michel Fromm, the lead researcher from the Université de Franche-Comté (Besançon, France), whose expertise is in creating nanometer-scaled DNA layers. His co-author of the study is Dr. Leon Sanche, of Sherbrooke University (Sherbrooke, QC, Canada), who is one of the world’s leading authorities on LEE research.

The investigators studied specific features of a small DNA molecule called a plasmid on a specialized thin film they created, which was irradiated by an electron gun. The impact generated transient particles called anions, which dissociate into snippets of DNA. When analyzed, these molecular fragments provide clues into the processes of DNA strand breaks and other DNA injuries that health researchers seek to understand, repair, and prevent.

“The fascinating point is that each time the close environment of DNA changes, new mechanisms of interaction of LEEs appear,” Dr. Fromm said.

Related Links:

Université de Franche-Comté
Sherbrooke University

Print article



view channel
Image: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) (Photo courtesy of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine).

How Blocking TROY Signaling Slows Brain Cancer Growth

Cancer researchers have found how the low molecular weight drug propentofylline (PPF) slows the growth of the aggressive brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This form of brain cancer is the most... Read more


view channel

Molecular Light Shed on “Dark” Cellular Receptors

Scientists have created a new research tool to help find homes for orphan cell-surface receptors, toward better understanding of cell signaling, developing new therapeutics, and determining causes of drug side-effects. The approach may be broadly useful for discovering interactions of orphan receptors with endogenous, naturally... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: The new ambr 15 fermentation micro-bioreactor system was designed to enhance microbial strain screening applications (Photo courtesy of Sartorius Stedim Biotech).

New Bioreactor System Streamlines Strain Screening and Culture

Biotechnology laboratories working with bacterial cultures will benefit from a new automated micro bioreactor system that was designed to enhance microbial strain screening processes. The Sartorius... Read more


view channel

Purchase of Biopharmaceutical Company Will Boost Development of Nitroxyl-Based Cardiovascular Disease Drugs

A major international biopharmaceutical company has announced the acquisition of a private biotech company that specializes in the development of drugs for treatment of cardiovascular disease. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (New York, NY, USA) has initiated the process to buy Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Chapel Hill, NC, USA).... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.