A response to Dr. [Rosalyn] Yalow's letter to the editor (The Scientist, October 17, 1988, page 10) is necessary. Her letter in no way refutes statements made in my letter (The Scientist, July 25, 1988, page 14), and she continues to miss the main point: Ionizing radiation causes mutations. In studies such as the Schull report (Science, 213:1220, 1981) on Japanese children of atomic bomb survivors, it is nearly impossible to uncover recessive mutations. Nevertheless, they did report significantly increased chromosomal damage.

I suggest she read the paper by Langlois et al., "Evidence for Increased Somatic Cell Mutations at the Glycophorin A Locus in Atomic Bomb Survivors" (Science, 236:445, 1987). Thus, not only does this paper confirm that radiation causes mutations, but also these authors suggest that the extent of mutations induced by low-level radiation in humans could be detected by their glycophorin...

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