US Intelligence Agencies Research Improved Radiation Detection • The Register

The research branch of the US Secret Service has begun investigating methods of detecting low doses of ionizing radiation to better protect American military personnel and to detect the use of nuclear technology.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) announced Start of targeted assessment of exposure to ionizing radiation (TEI-REX) on Friday, who will look for non-invasive methods of determination Radiation exposure in low doses through samples such as hair, skin, sweat and saliva.

In his technical explanation [PDF] of the program, IARPA said current methods for collecting biodosimetry data that address the effects of radiation on human or animal tissues have a number of problems: invasive samples such as blood may be required; often multiple collections are required; there is a time limit to get an accurate reading; the markers used to calculate doses are temporary; and there is a large standard deviation in dose calculations for low-dose exposure.

“Today’s technology assesses exposure to high doses of radioactive materials primarily by looking at multiple samples, often with limited accuracy for only a few days,” said program manager Dr. Michael Patterson.

Most radiation tests that require blood sampling rely on the assessment of chromosomal damage, which IARPA says is unnecessary because recent research “showed that biomarkers associated with exposure to ionizing radiation are detected across multiple biological targets including proteins, peptides, metabolites and lipids”.

TEI-REX wants to look at these markers, which IARPA says are long-lived and directly attributable to initial radiation dose. The program seeks to establish measurement models and methods that can accurately measure low-dose ionizing exposure within 25 days and beyond 90 days, which will help it provide a new understanding of the effects of low-dose radiation “through advances in artificial Intelligence, machine learning, biomarker discovery, and analytical biology.”

said IARPA [PDF] There are several uses for the technology, such as studying similar radiation poisoning cases Alexander Litvinenkoswhich took 22 days to be confirmed.

Other applications include better radiation exposure measurements for military personnel who often do not wear dosimetry badges; detecting and detecting radiation sources and nuclear contamination out in the field; and testing in remote locations — like space — that astronauts are exposed to much more radioactivity than those of us on earth.

The University of Washington, Ohio State University, Signature Science, and Areté Associates received grants to conduct this three-and-a-half-year study project, and the research will be conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Lab. and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute. ® US Intelligence Agencies Research Improved Radiation Detection • The Register

Laura Coffey

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