Statistics Seminars: Statistics for biological radiation biodosimetry - current research at HPA and future prospects
28 January 2013 14:00 in CM221
A key aim of the Cytogenetic and Biomarkers Group of the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) is to provide biological estimates of radiation dose to exposed or suspected exposed individuals following a radiation accident or incident. In brief, the proportion of DNA damage in the lymphocytes of blood sampled from the individual is converted to dose through use of a pre-defined calibration curve. The methods of statistical analysis of cytogenetic data for the purposes of radiation dosimetry are now extremely well defined. However, there are a number of limitations with the standard techniques and, in recent years, several novel approaches have been proposed. The Bayesian analysis framework seems particularly suitable for characterisation of cytogenetic data, not least because suitable prior information is almost always available. Over the last few years, the HPA have been researching a number of different novel and previously proposed methods for analysis of cytogenetic data and radiation dose estimation. The results are very encouraging, however we are now looking to expand our understanding of Bayesian techniques through collaboration with experts working in the field. Ultimately, we believe that the Bayesian approach will lead to more accurate characterisation of uncertainties and, therefore, truer estimates of radiation dose.
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