Magnification of Inter-individual Variation in Biological Responses after Low Doses and Dose-Rates of Ionizing Radiation

Paul F. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Biological responses of human cells and tissues to ionizing radiation (IR) are strongly influenced by dose and dose-rate. Unlike the robust activation of cellular DNA damage responses (DDR) seen after high IR doses, the efficiency of activation of DNA damage repair and signaling pathways after much lower doses and dose-rates varies appreciably among different individuals. Genomic and functional assays measuring low dose and dose-rate IR responses repeatedly show increased inter-individual variability when cells and tissues experience DNA damage levels comparable to those experienced endogenously (due to aerobic metabolism, diet, lifestyle, etc). Complicating matters for risk assessment are recent observations of dose-response non-linearity (hyper-linearity) in the low dose range. With both physical and biological factors strongly influencing individual responses to IR at low doses and dose-rates, further radiobiological research is required to assist regulatory agencies in determining appropriate radiological protection standards for such exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-298
Number of pages3
JournalHealth Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • carcinogenesis
  • dose low
  • genetic effects radiation
  • risk estimates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine(all)

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