Citizens' Campus: Radiation and life

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Fr. 22.03.2024
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Target group
All interested parties

Since the beginning of biological evolution 3.8 billion years ago, all life on Earth has existed under the influence of ionizing radiation. It comes from the sun, from the depths of space, but above all from the interior of the earth. Terrestrial exposure was initially much higher than it is today. The first living beings could only exist if they survived these high exposures. The energy transferred to biomolecules during each radiation interaction is much greater than their binding energy. This leads to changes in genetic information (mutation) or cell death. Even the first unicellular organisms were forced to use complex intracellular mechanisms to prevent this. This was the only way to achieve a regulated metabolism and successful reproduction. And millions of years of stable genomes and populations of species show that life has successfully adapted to the damaging effects of radiation, that ionizing radiation does not exclude life! It is more likely that the mutation rate it causes has contributed to the overwhelming diversity of biological life.

In addition to the sources and properties of ionizing radiation, the lecture will explain the biological effects of radiation, especially at the cellular level, such as damage to genetic information and its repair.


Speaker: Prof. Dr. Andreas Keller, TU Ilmenau

Admission: 5€