‘Man-made radiation makes repairing broken genes harder’; A warning on the genetic effects of low dose radiation
Published on September 15, 2012
DUBAI: All living things on earth and in the oceans live with exposure to natural levels of ionising radiation, which is high-frequency radiation with enough energy to change the DNA of organisms.
Most such genetic damage heals, but the addition of human-made radiation can make it harder for the body to repair broken genes, according to Master Pritvik Sinhadc, the world’s youngest author on paleontology, the earth science that studies fossil organisms and related remains.
The eight-year-old gifted child, a student of Dubai British School, was speaking recently about “the impact of radioactive waste on marine and land species” at the Emirates Environmental Group’s (EEG) 9th community lecture of the year held at Dubai Customs premises.
His book on paleontology, titled When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth, was released on June 21 at Magrudy’s bookstore at Jumeirah.
“Radioactive waste – the source of which is mostly human-made, like nuclear power plants, nuclear testing, wrong disposal of nuclear or radioactive medicines by hospitals and so on — can cause serious impact on marine and land species,” said Pritvik.
“Research on prehistoric mass extinctions and nuclear disasters have proved that uncontrolled radioactivity, nuclear or radioactive waste can hurt marine and land species in several ways – killing them or critically altering the genetics of these species, thereby creating bizarre mutations in their offspring or worse, passing radioactive material up the food chain,” he added.
“The primary source of radioactive waste is human activities such as nuclear power plants, nuclear testing and improper disposal of nuclear, radioactive and hazardous waste,” he noted.
“Man-made nuclear disasters cause deleterious effects on the genetics of marine and land species, hence creating mutations in generations to come. There is a link between other species and humans via the associated food chain,” he stated.
When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth, with stunning visuals, explains all the concepts pertaining to the biomechanics of these fascinating creatures, with user-friendly facts on almost all major dinosaurs in the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
“As far as I can recollect, I’ve always been in love with these fantastic, absolutely mind-blowing creatures. The fact that they once roamed in our backyards gives me a thrill I simply can’t express,” says Pritvik.
He is currently working on his second book on rare dinosaurs, with special emphasis on a fish and meat eater called Suchomimus and other fish eating carnivores and a third book on the impact of radioactive waste on marine and land species.
Pritvik loves science and takes dinosaur classes at Dubai British School Science Club. He has been awarded the Megastar Science CREST Award, a project-based awards scheme for the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) from the British Science Association. He was recently honoured as Young Science Ambassador from the British Science Association.
Academically a very bright student, Pritvik topped the primary section of his school on World Maths Day and won the Golden Calculator Award from the World Maths Day organisers.
Peter Moore, head of Primary School at Dubai British School, said: “To have such a keen interest in dinosaurs and to have pursued this passion so enthusiastically from such an early age is admirable.
I have every confidence that we are likely to see his name amongst the experts in palaeontology in the future.
“This book is a celebration of everything Pritvik has so far learned about dinosaurs and he has a special way of making you forget his age and draws you in with the way he shares his knowledge.
“Believe me this is only just the beginning of what he will contribute towards the world of paleontology. I do not doubt Pritvik’s path in life and look forward to the day when he becomes a real Doctor of Paleontology!” said Georgina Williams, deputy head of Primary at Jumeirah Baccalaureate School in Dubai and Pritvik’s Year 1 Teacher at Dubai British School.
Ainslie Teale, year 4 teacher, Dubai British School, recalled: “I first met Pritvik as a five-year-old when he presented an amazing PowerPoint presentation he had made, all about dinosaurs! He presented it to a year 3 class and they were a very captive and totally amazed audience.”
She wished Pritvik all the best for the future and said he would continue his great interest in dinosaurs.