Research ArticleRADIATION INJURY

Evolutionarily conserved serum microRNAs predict radiation-induced fatality in nonhuman primates

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Science Translational Medicine  01 Mar 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 379, eaal2408
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aal2408

Radiation alert

When a nuclear accident or attack occurs and people are exposed to radiation, a rapid and accurate response is vital for saving lives. In particular, it is important to identify those who had been exposed to radiation at all and to determine which victims are at risk of death or severe injury and require urgent treatment. Fendler et al. studied nonhuman primates who had been exposed to radiation and given a radioprotective drug or placebo, and then analyzed the animals’ blood and developed an miRNA-based classifier. By measuring the expression of five miRNAs (adjusted for gender), the authors were able to identify which primates had been exposed to radiation as well as their chances of survival.

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