Low Background Radiation Intensity Appears to be Harmful to Life

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Prof. Luigi Satta (Centro Fermi, Roma)


M.Balata5, D.Capece1,M.Chiti6, A.Esposito6, G.Esposito7,8,E. Fratini1, M.Belli7, L.Satta1, G.Simone7,M.A.Tabocchini17, M.Tomasi7, 1Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico Fermi, Roma, Italy; 2L’Aquila University, Italy; 3Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia; 4La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; 5INFN-LNGS; 6INFN-LNF; 7 Istituto Superiore di Sanità and INFN Roma1-Gr.coll.Sanità, Roma, Italy.


Very little is known about the influence of environmental radiation on living matter. In principle, relevant information can be acquired by analyzing possible differences between parallel biological systems, one in a reference radiation environment (RRE) and the other in a low-radiation environment (LRE). We took advantage of the unique opportunity represented by the cell culture facilities at the underground Gran Sasso National Laboratories (LNGS) of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare. We tested immortalized Human lymphoblast (TK6) cells and Chinese hamster lung (V79) cells against cell doubling time, mutation frequency, spontaneous and induced by X-rays micronuclei production, enzymatic activity against ROS. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that environmental radiation contributes to the development and maintenance of defence mechanisms in organisms living today

Primary author

Prof. Luigi Satta (Centro Fermi, Roma)

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