Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

May 1991


Published in Radiation Research 126:2 (May 1991), p. 269. Published by: Radiation Research Society; copyright © 1991 by Academic Press, Inc. Used by permission.


To test radiobiological models one needs data from X- or γ-ray and HZE track segment irradiations of the widest possible dynamic range in dose, LET, end points, and test objects (enzymes, viruses, bacteria, cells, tissues, organs, and organisms). Some data are currently available. There are excellent data on the inactivation of dry enzymes and viruses which should serve as a test of every biophysical model. On many occasions Zaider has asserted the superiority of microdosimetric over track structure models, asserting that “radial dose distributions (on which track structure theory is based) are generally poor substitutes for exact microdosimetric distributions.” I have repeatedly challenged that view, asking that he demonstrate the claimed superiority by using microdosimetric theory to calculate the inactivation cross sections for dry enzymes and viruses. I predicted failure, for I believe that microdosimetric models lack relevance, and that relevance takes priority over accuracy. We agreed that he would publish his results, even in the event of failure. It is to his credit that he has done so, and in the referenced paper he demonstrates that his calculations do not agree with experimental cross sections found for φx-174 viruses.

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