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Neutron Irradiation of Bacteria in the Presence and Absence of Secondary Charged-Particle Equilibrium
John Lunec, W. A. Cramp and Shirley Hornsey
Vol. 83, No. 3 (Sep., 1980), pp. 607-620
Published by: Radiation Research Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3575341
Page Count: 14
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The survival rate of Shigella flexneri has been measured for irradiation with 7-MeV neutrons in the presence and absence of secondary charged-particle equilibrium. The data were analyzed to assess the separate response of the cells to the knock-on proton and α-particle plus heavy-recoil components. A detailed consideration of the frequency of α-particle and heavy-recoil traversals of the cell has been made to explain our results, and in addition we have applied this approach to analyze the earlier results obtained with mammalian cells. We conclude that of the secondary charged-particles produced by the Hammersmith neutron beam, the highest LET particles, the heavy-recoil nuclei, contribute a minor proportion of damage to bacteria but form a major contribution of damage in mammalian cells. The reduction in oxygen enhancement ratio (OER) with neutrons compared with low LET radiation for mammalian cells is due almost entirely to the influence of the heavy recoils and the contribution of the α-particle and knock-on protons to the reduction of the OER is relatively minor. For Shigella flexneri the α particles and heavy recoils make approximately equal contributions to the reduction in OER.
Radiation Research © 1980 Radiation Research Society