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Injected Proteins Protect Mice From Lethal Radiation Dose

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the if-only-spock-knew-about-this dept.

Biotech 59

ananyo writes "Two anti-clotting compounds already approved for use in humans may have a surprising role in treating radiation sickness. Last year's nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan renewed anxiety over the lack of treatments for radiation poisoning. It was long thought that the effects of exposure to high doses of radiation were instantaneous and irreversible, leading to destruction of the gut and loss of bone marrow cells, which damages blood-cell production and the immune system. The two compounds are thrombomodulin (Solulin/Recomodulin), currently approved in Japan to prevent thrombosis, and activated protein C (Xigris). Treating mice with either drug post-exposure led to an eightfold increase in key bone marrow cells needed for the production of white blood cells, and improved the survival rates of mice receiving lethal radiation doses by 40–80% (abstract). And yes, the lead author's name really is Geiger."

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Fits Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40456277)

They always seemed to have radiation treatments that worked in a limited fashion, but couldn't deal with extremes.

Re:Fits Star Trek (1)

Psion (2244) | more than 2 years ago | (#40461209)

Dose me up with hyronalin and a tri-ox compound, and I'm good to go. And maybe a hit of cordrazine so I'll be sure to take out all you murderers and assassins!

Re:Fits Star Trek (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467481)

I prefer a Herb-Ox [elsstore.com] compound. All those tasty, salty granules coursing through my veins 'make-a my ganglia twitch!'

Steve! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40456339)

Now I'm mad. Get OFF OF SLASHDOT or I am firing your ass.

Re:Steve! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40456397)

Sorry boss, no one named Steve is here anymore. Just Mark and Tom from down the street. You can go ask their boss to fire them though. They are a bit angry too when they post. Are you sure it isn't you that needs firing? I feel your pain but com'on, Rick.

I always wondered if this is feasible (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456413)

Radiation and life are not mutually exclusive. Heck, there are fungi and bacteria that THRIVE on radiation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiotrophic_fungus [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinococcus_radiodurans [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermococcus_gammatolerans [wikipedia.org]

This treatment mentioned here has another key use besides radiation accidents on Earth: long term space travel.

If we are going to Mars, we are going to have to harden the human body to radiation exposure.

Through some combination of genetic treatments gleaned from researching radiation extremophiles, and research like this excellent find on these proteins, the human body should be able to be hardened to long term high levels of radiation. That's excellent news for space travel.

Re:I always wondered if this is feasible (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456553)

It sounds far fethed, but gravity, and Van Allen belts are going to have to be made more portable.

Re:I always wondered if this is feasible (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40457601)

hardening the human body to radiation is far fetched, you are correct

but portable gravity is orders of magnitude more far fetched

Re:I always wondered if this is feasible (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40465923)

Portable acceleration is a good substitute. tether+counterweight+spin = good enough gravity.

NASA has been wasting resources on a lot of useless stuff instead of working on practical space stations which humans can actually live in rather than merely survive or decay faster on.

Re:I always wondered if this is feasible (4, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456573)

Well, we've known for a while that a lot of cases of acute radiation poisoning in humans don't actually directly damage tissues as badly as you'd think, and the problem comes from our cells' natural suicide response to damage. Normally a really good thing for preventing cancer, but not a good thing when, say, a significant number of liver cells are simultaneously slightly damaged and they each decide to kill themselves "for the good of the whole". Oops. So disabling this response allows people to survive radiation doses that previously would have killed them.

And of course radiation and life are not exclusive... without background radiation, evolution would occur on a vastly slower rate.

Re:I always wondered if this is feasible (1)

Caption Wierd (1164059) | more than 2 years ago | (#40467907)

Actually, radiation doesn't provide that much of the mutations. The studies on animals show a small mutation rate--ratioing down from the experimental exposures to a background exposure--compared to the natural rate of mutations. In humans, the effect has not been seen at all. To the third generation of decendents of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima survivors, there is no increased rate of birth defects. See the Bilogical Effects of Ionization Radiation reports (BEIR I - BEIR VI) for more.

Re:I always wondered if this is feasible (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40458049)

I guess thriving means that everything else gets killed and they have the whole irradiated habitat for themselves.

re: If we are going to Mars, we are going to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40463453)

> If we are going to Mars, we are going to have to harden the human body to radiation exposure.

Not if we go in a Project Orion nuclear steamship ship http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion) with oodles of shielding on board.

So that's what was in those syringes... (3, Interesting)

barlevg (2111272) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456417)

I think I remember Ronald D. Moore saying in the Battlestar Galactica first season commentary that he felt slightly guilty about making up a magic "anti radiation" drug.

Re:So that's what was in those syringes... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40460055)

So now we're allowing info from sci-fi shows besides Star Trek? Why wasn't I informed?

Re:So that's what was in those syringes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40460575)

Other usable references come from Star Wars and Futurama, with the occasional mention of Babylon 5, Firefly, Farscape, and Red Dwarf from the hard-core crowd.

Re:So that's what was in those syringes... (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40465093)

Why would he feel guilty about that and not say FTL travel?

Re:So that's what was in those syringes... (1)

barlevg (2111272) | more than 2 years ago | (#40501215)

At various points I found myself really hoping he'd do an episode involving time travel which they'd explain was the same thing, thanks to special relativity.

But alas...

Finally (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456445)

We shall call it... Hyronalin.

Re:Finally (3, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40457507)

How about RadAway?

Re:Finally (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40458393)

RadOff, apply directly to the forehead

RadOff, apply directly to the forehead

RadOff, apply directly to the forehead

Cancer? (4, Insightful)

Mack428 (802800) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456469)

I wonder if this could help people being treated for cancer with radiation?

Re:Cancer? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456527)

The one thing I keep going back to is the part were the Thyroid Gland kind of "dissloves" after exposure to radiation. Do mice have Thyroid glands that act like Human Thyroid glands?

Re:Cancer? (3, Informative)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40457057)

Synthroid is cheap and readily available. If that's the cost for not dying of radiation exposure, that's a pretty cheap price.

Re:Cancer? (5, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40457483)

We already know how to mostly prevent thyroid damage from radiation exposure. The thyroid is unique in that it uses large amounts of iodine in producing certain hormones. Unfortunately, many radioactive elements naturally break down into radioactive iodine (Iodine-131), and when the radioactive form is floating around your bloodstream, the thyroid dutifully absorbs it just as it would the non-radioactive version. That bioaccumulation of Iodine-131 in the thyroid is what causes such a high rate of thyroid cancer after radiation exposure. That's why the standard treatment for radiation exposure includes massive doses of normal iodine. By ensuring that most of the iodine that reaches the thyroid is not radioactive, the damage to the thyroid is dramatically reduced.

Re:Cancer? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40466139)

That bioaccumulation of Iodine-131 in the thyroid is what causes such a high rate of thyroid cancer after radiation exposure.

I am confused now. Are you talking about radiation exposure or are you talking about radioisotope exposure?

Re:Cancer? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40471601)

First one, then the other. :-D

Re:Cancer? (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40458019)

You can live without a thyroid; my grandmother had hers removed at age 40 and lived another 60 years afterward.

Re:Cancer? (2)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456679)

Most radiation treatment for cancer is localized so it isn't as big of a risk to the bone marrow..

If they are going to give some one total body irradiation, they will have to give you a stem cell transplant in order for you to survive.

Re:Cancer? (3, Funny)

chadenright (1344231) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456965)

If they are going to give some one total body irradiation, they will have to give you a stem cell transplant in order for you to survive.

Or else say they're looking for terrorists and are irradiating you for your own good.

Re:Cancer? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40459909)

If they are going to give some one total body irradiation, they will have to give you a stem cell transplant in order for you to survive.

Indeed, the very reason for giving someone total body irradiation (TBI) deliberately is so that you can give someone a stem cell transplant (I type as I sit in my daughter's hospital room, watching her recover from a stem cell transplant).

Re:Cancer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40465543)

Well, the thing with radiation treatments is that you _want_ to kill quickly-dividing cells - I'd be worried about protecting the cancer cells as well as the healthy ones.

Let's Go! (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456473)

To Mars, and beyond!!!

Rad-X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40456609)

That's awesome! Still, if you are exposed to high doses of direct gamma and whatever rays from radioactivity and do not ingest the radioactive molecules themselves, you're still screwed. This stuff just cleans you out like Rad-X from the Fallout series.

Re:Rad-X (1)

ZombieThoughts (1735956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40457545)

Rad-X was preventative, you're thinking of RadAway.

Other organ damage? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456817)

What about neutron radiation poisoning (as occurs from nuclear fission IIRC)? I thought as the escaping neutrons traveled through tissue and organs the cellular damage was pretty much irreversible and not just limited to bone marrow.

Don't get me wrong, this is great news and all just not sure if it's time to shout hurray and go running through Red Forest [wikipedia.org]

Re:Other organ damage? (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40457511)

The neutrons do indirect damage. They are captured by the nuclei of non-radioactive isotopes, turning them into radioactive isotopes. After exposure you're radioactive and there's not a thing you can do about it other than wait out the storm and see if you survive after the shorter half-life isotopes have decayed.

stupid Scientists! (5, Funny)

Papa Legba (192550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456829)

Great! Just Great! Now how are we going to defeat the coming mouse revolution now that scientists have taken nuclear weapons off the table!

Don't they think before they hand out things like radiation immunity to something that wants our cheese?

Re:stupid Scientists! (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40457441)

Now now, no need to panic. We simply need to augment our cat forces, perhaps arm them with some sort of "laser" device...

Re:stupid Scientists! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40457461)

Don't they think before they hand out things like radiation immunity to something that wants our cheese?

Of course they think! Specifically, they thought the mouse overlords might pay them better than they are now if they got in on the ground floor of the mouse revolution.

available soon by hypospray in Sick Bay (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#40456967)

This is undoubtedly a precursor to Hyronaline.®

even more amazing (1)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 2 years ago | (#40457001)

And yes, the lead author's name really is Geiger.

that's nothing. the guy who originally invented the sandwich was actually named Sandwich.

Re:even more amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40457167)

No, he was from Sandwich.

Re:even more amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40458479)

Get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich!

I'm going to have to try that one... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40457147)

All I have to do is tell her that she might have had radiation exposure and that I have a "protein injection" to help her out.

Hartmut, calling Hartmut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40457197)

Interesting to see the coincidences of first names (Hartmut in Ohio and Wisconsin) as well as that the whole idea of combining two separate experiments by a chance phone call. Then again, Hartmut looks like the "John Smith" of Germany. I have a suspicion the Tralfamadorians need to send someone into outer space to replace a space widget.

Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan remake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40457407)

Those medical party poopers! This spells doom for any plans to make a Wrath of Khan remake... the famous 'I have been, and always will be, your friend' scene with Spock and Kirk will be deemed "unrealistic".

Mars-One (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40458087)

Now I know what those people one the one way trip to Mars [slashdot.org] will be full of.

sorry for the cats (1)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 2 years ago | (#40458489)

And yes, the lead author's name really is Geiger.

It is part of the conspiracy by thi guy to help mice out-compete cats and infest our world.

Protein injections (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | more than 2 years ago | (#40459931)

Great article. I called my wife and told her that when she got home, I'd give her a protein injection to protect her from potential radiation hazards. She's thrilled.

First the Hypospray... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40461351)

First the Hypospray now the innoculation to radiation... who wants to bet on the next Star Treck invention. I hope I live to see the Warp Drive!

http://www.pcworld.com/article/256333/mit_develops_a_magnetic_hypospray_for_needleless_shots.html

Other drugs to prevent irradiation damage (1)

LandGator (625199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40461417)

Folk wisdom may be wrong: http://www.clinicaladvances.com/article_pdfs/ho-article-200904-matthews.pdf [clinicaladvances.com] points to the damage of the combination of chronic ethanol use and irradiation. A beer or six may be helpful, but I can find no proof of any benefit. I would take with a grain of salt the Australian claim that de-alcoholized wire can help: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16083915 [nih.gov] as the resveratol crowd has suffered some reverses recently. The study from Oz could be good work, I'd just want to replicate it in a larger population before taking it as gospel. A Minnesota firm has money from Uncle Sam for 'BIO 300' http://www.humaneticscorp.com/ittrium/visit?path=A1xeb4x1y1xfcex1x65y1xfd4x1x65y1x125fx1x65 [humaneticscorp.com] an anti-irradiation drug, and Phase 1 trials are underway for another drug http://www.dddmag.com/news/2012/03/phase-1-cblb502-trial-underway [dddmag.com] 'CBLB502' touted by Faux News http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/03/16/ex-rad-militarys-radiation-wonder-drug/ [foxnews.com] .

Re:Other drugs to prevent irradiation damage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40463247)

BIO300 is also known as genistein.

CBLB502 is by Cleveland Biolabs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_BioLabs

There's also 5-Androstenediol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-Androstenediol

and Ex-Rad http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex-Rad

Ethanol to prevent irradiation damage (1)

LandGator (625199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40539893)

"A friend of mine, who worked in the emergency room, saw me in the waiting room. He took me aside, gave me 500 grams of pure alcohol, and told me to drink that. I drank it and washed it down with water. Then I called my wife and told her I was O.K. Later on, the doctors told me that the alcohol, which I drank on an empty stomach, helped me a lot". - Nikolai Gorbachenko, a Chernobyl plant radiation monitor in http://www.thebulletin.org/files/May-June%201996_Chernobyl-Kiselyov.pdf [thebulletin.org]

It looks like "Nuking from orbit"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40461949)

(*puts on sunglasses*) ...is not so sure!

YEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

Geiger? Seriously? (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#40463057)

the doctor's name is Geiger?

H.R. Geiger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40470003)

H.R. Geiger -> http://www.google.com/search?num=10&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&q=%22H.R.+Geiger%22&btnG=Search+by+image&gbv=1&sei=EUvrT_u7Aq-N0QG5peC9BQ [google.com]

* This lends itself MORE to the "Geiger counter" though, of course... but yea, that's his name (coincidence? "Inquiring minds, want to know"...)

APK

P.S.=> This is 1 of the cooler things I've heard from Slashdot's science news ever - As this has much potential for travelling the cosmos I'd say... apk

Re:H.R. Geiger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40470037)

I wonder if anyone will find the "nitpickable item" in my last post I just replied to...

APK

P.S.=> It's there, but the funniest part is, the data's there either way (though it wasn't completely right/sound/perfect - but it's SO close, it's almost perfect but it's not)... apk

Injectable Sunscreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40467619)

Finally!!! Injectable Sunscreen!! Where do I sign up!

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