To the Editor:—
Among the by-products of atomic energy, irradiated carbohydrates have become a formidable reality. Even before the days of apocalyptic prophesies of fallout from exploded A-bombs, irradiation of culture media by ultraviolet light had been shown to alter staphylococci grown on such media. The overworked fruit fly has taken up some of the research burden by undergoing suitable mutation, when his food is irradiated, but he has been mutating for research biology for many years, and this is not very exciting.Food plants have been found to get sticky chromosomes when fed irradiated carbohydrates, and their anaphase fragments lag. Irradiated glucose is found toxic to mammalian cells, which don't grow well on this dietary ingredient. Now, investigators from Michigan report chromosome damage in mammalian cells fed irradiated sucrose (Nature221:1254, 1966). This irradiated candy does not provoke changes radically different from those observed in directly irradiated cells.