Every day we are exposed to radiation. It is our natural background. And it results not just from operating microwaves, smartphones, gadgets, and home appliances. Radioactive rays arrive from space. Radiation sources are mountains, trees, buildings. And even our own bodies! And what if we turn radiation completely off? Or just significantly reduce the daily radiation level? Will it do any good or harm? To find it out, biologists from the Dzhelepov Laboratory of Nuclear Problems and physicists from the Baksan Neutrino Observatory of INR of RAS have conducted an intriguing experiment very deep underground at DULB-4900, a special low-background laboratory.
This comic strip is the outcome of the joint project of the Dzhelepov Laboratory of Nuclear Problems and the Komikadze group, a collaborative association of scriptwriters, artists, illustrators, and science educators.
Illustrated by Evgeny Fedotov
Concept and script by Alyona Lesnyak
News in the field:
Previous research in the field:
Morciano P, Cipressa F, Porrazzo A, Esposito G, Tabocchini MA, Cenci G. Fruit Flies Provide New Insights in Low-Radiation Background Biology at the INFN Underground Gran Sasso National Laboratory (LNGS). Radiat Res. 2018;190: 217. pmid:29863430
Lampe N, Marin P, Coulon M, Micheau P, Maigne L, Sarramia D, et al. Reducing the ionizing radiation background does not significantly affect the evolution of Escherichia coli populations over 500 generations. Sci Rep. 2019;9: 1–6.
Morciano P, Iorio R, Iovino D, Cipressa F, Esposito G, Porrazzo A, et al. Effects of reduced natural background radiation on Drosophila melanogaster growth and development as revealed by the FLYINGLOW program. J Cell Physiol. 2018. pmid:28262946
Lampe N, Biron DG, Brown JMC, Incerti S, Marin P, Maigne L, et al. Simulating the impact of the natural radiation background on bacterial systems: Implications for very low radiation biological experiments. PLoS One. 2016;11: 1–19. pmid:27851794