Radiation from a major nuclear accident can kill thousands of people. It is very dangerous and depending on how much radiation people are exposed, high exposures of radtion make people get radiation sickness and eventually they die. Radiation exposure levels up to 10 gray would require a bone marrow transplant. After exposure to radiation bone marrow is the first thing that is effected and that is where white blood cells are located and a healthy immune system is needed after exposure to radiation. Radiation can cause bacteria to leak into the blood, causing blood pressure to spike, feder, abnormal blood clotting and organ failure. A bone marrow transplant is almost necessary. However, after a major nuclear accident thousands of people will need bone marrow transplants and that might be very tricky to execute.
But there is a solution! New research has proven that a drug composed of fluoroquinolone antibiotic combined with a microbe fighting compound- a protein called BPI– can protect thousands of people from the effects of radiation. How? This antibiotic and protein can attack the bacteria that is leaked in the blood and causes all these harmful effects. The antibiotic kills the bacteria and the protein latches onto the bacterial endoxtin, a molecule on the coats of bacteria.
Researchers exposed mice to radiation for 24 hours and gave some of the mice the injections of the antibiotic and the protein. The mice who did not get the antibiotic and the protein died 30 days later. 80 percent of the mice who got the antiobiotic and the protein lived almost healthily.
This drug could change the harmful effects of radiation and could be very useful to the world as nuclear sources of energy are used more often. However, it is still in production and is not perfected. Doctor Eva Guinan of the dana-Farber cancer institute and Harvard medical school believes that “We still have a lot more to explore in detail, but the results are really encouraging.” Do you think this future drug will completely solve the problem of radiation sickness?