Radiation injury is damage to tissues caused by exposure to ionizing radiation.
Large doses of ionizing radiation can cause acute illness by reducing the production of blood cells and damaging the digestive tract.
A very large dose of ionizing radiation can also damage the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular system), brain, and skin.
Radiation injury due to large and very large doses is referred to as a tissue reaction. The dose needed to cause visible tissue injury varies with tissue type.
Ionizing radiation can increase the risk of cancer.
Radiation exposure of sperm and egg cells carries little increased risk of genetic defects in offspring.
Doctors remove as much external and internal (material that is inhaled or ingested) radioactive material as possible and treat symptoms and complications of radiation injury.
In general, ionizing radiation refers to high-energy electromagnetic waves (x-rays and gamma rays) and particles (alpha particles, beta particles, and neutrons) that are capable of stripping electrons from atoms (ionization). Ionization changes the chemistry of affected atoms and any molecules containing those atoms. By changing molecules in the highly ordered environment of the cell, ionizing radiation can disrupt and damage cells. Cellular damage can cause illness, increase the risk of developing cancer, or both.
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New Technique May Protect The Female Egg During The Freezing Process
A growing number of women are now having their first babies well into their thirties and even in their forties. There are several reasons for waiting to start a family. Women who wait usually have more financial security, more emotional maturity and more time to commit to their marriages and their careers before focusing their energy on children.
Unfortunately, it's a biological reality that the female egg becomes less viable over time – unlike male sperm. The egg cell is also much harder to freeze because it contains a lot of water that can crystallize during the freezing process.
Now, a company called ViaCell is testing a new technique that is designed to protect the egg during freezing. The multiple site clinical trial is expected to enroll approximately three hundred healthy women, age twenty-one to thirty-five, who are currently seeking fertility treatment to demonstrate births from previously frozen eggs. Currently, there is not an FDA approved product for egg freezing.
The study is expected to be completed in 2009, and if the results are positive, it may give women more options when planning their families.
Produced for ViaCell, Inc
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(Image source: Wired)
BY EMILY SPAIN
You're watching multisource health/science news analysis from Newsy.
Researchers might have a cure in the works for infertility in women.
Scientists say they found ovary stem cells they can convert into unfertilized human eggs.
WBAL has the details of the experiment.
“Similar experiments in mice show transplanting the egg cells into the ovaries of infertile females produced healthy offspring. Scientists believe the same is possible in humans and are exploring the possibility of human stem cell banks.”
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital used a cell-sorting machine to find reproductive cells from the ovaries of mice and then did the same with donated human ovaries. According to the New York Times, the experiment on human ovaries had positive results.
“The egg cells, when injected into mice, generated follicles, the ovarian structure in which eggs are formed, as well as mature eggs, some of which had a single set of chromosomes, a signature of eggs and sperm.”
The BBC talked to one doctor who called the results of the experiment "extremely significant" and "a potentially landmark piece of research.”
The outlet quoted him saying:
"If this research is confirmed it may overturn one of the great asymmetries of reproductive biology - that a woman's reproductive pool of gametes may be renewable, just like a man's."
Other researchers aren’t so sure.
Some question if egg-producing cells actually exist in ovaries.
Director of the Center for Reproductive Sciences at the University of California plays devil’s advocate to the research. Discovery News has his thoughts:
“I would like to see better characterization of this very small pool of cells that may be present in the ovary...’ [He] noted that some properties of the egg-producing cells described in this study do not match descriptions from previous studies.”
According to The New York Times, doctors say cells grown in labs often develop abnormalities.
And even if the research is confirmed, use of them in fertility treatments is still years away.
Transcript by Newsy.
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