The heavy ions accelerated at the GANIL interest not only physics but also radiobiology. They are used to irradiate biological material (molecules, cells, rodents) during very fundamental or more applied studies.
The early answers, like lesions of proteins, of DNA (Figure 1) and of chromosomes (Figure 2), apoptosis (Figure 3), genic regulations and mortality, or later damage such as neuro-immunizing deregulation, chromosomal and genomic instability, transformation and carcinogenesis, are characterized and measured, and the involved mechanisms analyzed.
In addition to their fundamental interest, these studies bring elements for protection against radiation and for radiotherapy. Indeed, various human groups are occasionally exposed to these particles: flight personal and astronauts (cosmic rays and galactic), inhabitants of granitic areas (rich in radon). For these populations, arises the difficulty to know the induced biological damage, and their long-term evolution. In addition, the ability of the heavy ions to release a maximum of energy in a located zone is an interesting tool for of solid tumors.