The Effect of Radiation on White Blood Cell Count

Radiation has a negative impact on the white blood cells of the subject. This is a known fact, but there is speculation as to how exactly this effect is measured. The purpose of this experiment was to observe the effect of radiation on the count of white blood cells in sheep blood. Depending on the amount of radiation applied to the blood, the white blood cells are affected in different extents. In this experiment, sheep blood was exposed to various amounts of radiation using a common hospital CT scan. After this exposure, the amount of white blood cells per field of view under a microscope was counted. The averages for each radiation group were compared, and it was found that the more radiation applied, the more white blood cells were destroyed. This effect was found to be linear because the white blood cell count decreased proportionately with the rate at which the radiation increased. These results were found using an ANOVA statistical test and support the linear model of radiation, and disprove the threshold model. This knowledge aids the abilities of doctors and health professionals. They should now be able to more properly prepare for the effects of radiation on blood cells.

Research Done By:

Lydia Feld
Sterling Heights High School

Kristine Gallis
Cousino High School