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  • Die biologische Wirkung der kosmischen strahlung, Methoden und neueste Ergebnisse

    Paper ID



    • J Eugster







    With the purpose of investigating the biological effects of cosmic radiation we constructed in Switzerland an underground control station shielded by some 2100 m of rock (approximately 6000 m Weq). The control experiments carried out here have shown that no charged particles of cosmic radiation penetrate to these depth. At the same time, however, a considerable neutron radiation was found to be present. Of necessity, in determining the biological effects of cosmic' radiation, the identical biological procresses had to be followed at a control station shielded against cosmic radiation. The investigation of the maximum effect on biological objects (eggs of artemia salina, as well as human and animal living tissues) was carried out at a height of 28-30 000 m by means of test balloons. Of paramount interest was the effect of the heavy primary particles, the nuclear radiation, with an ionization capacity amounting to some 107 ion pairs to each 10 of track. A comparison of the results obtained at the control.station and those produced by the heavy primary particles permits of answering the question of the tolerance dose by saying that the latter equals the balance of environmental radiation, to which are exposed continually all beings living on the surface of the earth. A description is given of a new method permitting the demonstration of cosmic radiation tracks in living tissue as well as the chemical effect on dyes and enzymes (TTC, enzymes with SH-groups). The results may be summarized as follows: Direct hits by highly ionizing components on artemia eggs are followed by the appearance of lethal factors (hatching rate of eggs hit at 30 000 m 0$, controls at earth surface 9%, at the underground station 9%). The microscopic avaluation of the results obtained with human and animal tissues is still awaiting its conclusion.