A retired professor living in the manicured desert town of Meitar believes she has discovered a potential vaccine that, taken in advance of a nuclear attack, would reduce the physiological damage from radiation.
Her theory is yet untested, but is built around the notion that humans can be vaccinated against radiation in the same way as a virus: introduce small amounts of it to “teach” the body how to respond when larger amounts are suddenly present.
Just as the reactive immune system “remembers, rapidly responds, and protects us” from, say, smallpox, once it has been initially introduced to the body in a small dose in vaccine form, so too will the signature damage of radiation, which triggers the unchecked secretion of hydrogen peroxide within the body, be picked up and addressed, said Professor Brenda Laster, who taught nuclear engineering as applied to medicine at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Laster’s hypothesis posits that not all exposure to radiation is cancerous and that hydrogen peroxide, delivered in small doses over a long period of time, would train the body’s reactive immune system to recognize the assault and combat it.
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