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July 25, 1966

Radiation Reduces Lifespan

JAMA. 1966;197(4):30-32. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110040018006

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From the air, it has the row-onrow, absolute-sameness look of an unimaginative housing development.

Closeup, as the observer moves south past the present main building concentration of the University of California's 4,400-acre Davis campus, it's apparent that this indeed is a housing development. In fact, it's the largest of its kind— for beagles.

The outdoor pens, which extend row-after-row with rooftop-like piers in each, are part of the School of Veterinary Medicine's Radiobiology Laboratory at UC-Davis.

Here, working with the cooperative and undemanding little dogs, investigators are studying long-term effects of external and internal irradiation.

They have seen already that radiation does reduce lifespan. And, they have observed that many irradiated dogs died of the same disorders as controls, but sooner and with greater frequency.

In the external irradiation study, now in its final five-to-ten year phase, observations include:

  • Resistance of the ovary of the adult beagle to external