Friday, July 17, 2009

A Milestone in the Nuclear Age - A Cure for Radiation Sickness

If you have done any reading on the Manhattan Project, then you have read countless stories about the horror experience by the scientists there as they began to understand the phenomenon of radiation sickness. The atom bomb was originally engineered to simply be a VERY LARGE conventional explosive, but the radioactive fallout from the bombs caused unexpected side-effects. Days or weeks after the bomb, survivors began seeing hair falling out, teeth and fingernails rotting away, sores and burns appearing spontaneously, etc. Some believe more died from radiation poisoning after Hiroshima than were killed directly by the explosion. Scenes from these events have become emblematic of the nuclear age, and movies such as THE DAY AFTER have burned images like this into the collective consciousness.

But now, faced with a future nuclear Iran, scientists in Israel have developed a cure for radiation sickness!!! Using a protein found in human gut bacteria, they found a medication that could be ingested anywhere from 24 hours before exposure to 72 hours after. Animals treated with the medication showed an almost 100% survival rate, and in many cases showed no evidence of radiation sickness at all.

This is a game changer. Here is hoping that in the Age of Terrorism government will be loading up stockpiles ASAP.


"Nick" said...

Reminds me of shows like Battlestar Galactica, where they have a "radiation sickness" pill or something. We live in a sci-fi world!

Is another use for this in helping people get over radiation for cancer, or allowing for stronger doses?

Nomad said...

Yes, if you read the article, you'll see they are very excited about the prospect of treating patients undergoing radiation treatment for cancer.