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August 2, 1995

Suffering Made Real: American Science and the Survivors at Hiroshima

Author Affiliations

Indiana University Bloomington

JAMA. 1995;274(5):430-431. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530050078040

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The longest and most comprehensive medical genetics study ever undertaken is the still ongoing investigation of the late effects on health of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Inter alia this research has provided the primary basis for regulatory standards for radiation exposure in occupational and medical settings.

This binational study was begun in 1946 by the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (NAS/ NRC) with the appointment of a committee that became the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC). One member was Lt James V. Neel, MC, AUS, a young geneticist with an MD and PhD. Ever since, he has studied the genetic effects of the atomic bombs, and he is the chief protagonist in this book.

Though a cooperative study by the Americans and the Japanese and mainly staffed by the latter, ABCC was administered by NAS/NRC. Funding came from the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC); this, and the

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