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Open Access Comment

Low-dose radiation, scientific scrutiny, and requirements for demonstrating effects

Anders Pape Møller1* and Timothy Alexander Mousseau2

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratoire d’Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, CNRS UMR 8079, Université Paris-Sud, Bâtiment 362, F-91405, Orsay Cedex, France

2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA

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BMC Biology 2013, 11:92  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-92

Published: 30 August 2013


Recent nuclear accidents have prompted renewed interest in the fitness consequences of low-dose radiation. Hiyama et al. provided information on such effects in the Japanese pale grass blue butterfly in a paper that has been viewed more than 300,000 times, prompting a barrage of criticism. These exchanges highlight the role of scrutiny in studies with potential effects on humans, but also raise questions about minimum requirements for demonstrating biological effects.