Radiation Action on DNA in Bacteria: Effect of Oxygen

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Science  02 Oct 1964:
Vol. 146, Issue 3640, pp. 71-73
DOI: 10.1126/science.146.3640.71


In Escherichia coli cells ionizing radiation produces a degradation of DNA to approximately 50 percent of the total amount originally insoluble in trichloroacetic acid. There is also a reduction of synthesis. Oxygen inhibits the degradation process by a dose reduction factor of 4 and the synthesis process by a factor of approximately 1.5. Thus, at relatively low doses, radiation action on bacteria is very probably mediated through the DNA.