Radiation Hucksters Strike Again
By Dr. Robert Zubrin, Mars Society President, 06.08.17
According to a publicity campaign launched on behalf of a paper authored by University of Nevada Las Vegas Professor Frank Cucinotta, new findings show "collateral damage from cosmic rays increases cancer risks for Mars astronauts."
However an examination of the paper itself shows no discussion of experimental methods or results, because no experiments were done and no data was taken. Rather the much-ballyhooed paper is a discussion of a computer model that Prof. Cucinotta has created that claims to have the power to predict radiation-induced cancer occurrences. In short, there’s no real news. Furthermore, to the extent that the model in question has any empirical foundation, it is based on irrelevant prior experiments done in which researchers subjected mice to radiation dose rates millions of times greater than astronauts would receive on their way to Mars.
For example in one such illustrative piece of nonsense entitled “What happens to your brain on the way to Mars” published on May 2, 2015 in the open-access journal Science Advances, a group of radiation researchers claimed that their recent work causing memory loss to mice by administering very large doses of ...