Action Spectra: Emphasis Mammalian Cells
The utility of action spectroscopy to study responses of biological cells and tissues is firmly established (Jagger, 1967). At a minimum, a carefully completed action spectrum can assess the amount of biological effect as a function of wavelength. While action spectra are of intrinsic value, providing experimental assessment of the consequences of exposure to electromagnetic radiation, in addition, regulations that set standards for radiation exposure must be based on such biological data. Beyond the need for action spectra in health and regulation lies a more fundamental question frequently addressed by workers in this field, i.e., what is the “target” molecule for each observed effect? The “target” is not always obvious from the details of the action spectrum observed. Although it is possible that the measured effect has the same wavelength dependence as the absorption spectrum for an identifiable, important cellular molecule (Gates, 1930) action spectra, especially in complex systems, often cannot be simply superimposed on the absorption spectrum of a known molecule (Todd et al., 1968).
KeywordsAction Spectrum Wavelength Dependence Xeroderma Pigmentosum Chinese Hamster Cell Action Spectroscopy
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