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Issue 8, 2012
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Fragmentation of extracellular DNA by long-term exposure to radiation from uranium in aquatic environments

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Abstract

Persistent harmful scenarios associated with disposal of radioactive waste, high-background radiation areas and severe nuclear accidents are of great concern regarding consequences to both human health and the environment. Of particular concern is the extracellular DNA in aquatic environments contaminated by radiological substances. Strand breaks induced by radiation promote decrease in the transformation efficiency for extracellular DNA. The focus of this study is the quantification of DNA damage following long-term exposure (over one year) to low doses of natural uranium (an alpha particle emitter) to simulate natural conditions, since nothing is known about alpha radiation induced damage to extracellular DNA. A high-resolution Atomic Force Microscope was used to evaluate DNA fragments. Double-stranded plasmid pBS as a model for extracellular DNA was exposed to different amounts of natural uranium. It was demonstrated that low concentrations of U in water (50 to 150 ppm) produce appreciable numbers of double strand breaks, scaling with the square of the average doses. The importance of these findings for environment monitoring of radiological pollution is addressed.

Graphical abstract: Fragmentation of extracellular DNA by long-term exposure to radiation from uranium in aquatic environments

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Article information


Submitted
09 Mar 2012
Accepted
17 May 2012
First published
18 May 2012

J. Environ. Monit., 2012,14, 2108-2113
Article type
Paper

Fragmentation of extracellular DNA by long-term exposure to radiation from uranium in aquatic environments

J. D. T. Arruda-Neto, L. Nieto, H. Righi, M. A. Cotta, H. Carrer, T. E. Rodrigues and G. C. Genofre, J. Environ. Monit., 2012, 14, 2108
DOI: 10.1039/C2EM30196B

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