Biological detection of low radiation by combining results of two analysis methods
The accurate determination of the biological effects of low doses of pollutants is a major public health challenge. DNA microarrays are a powerful tool for investigating small intracellular changes. However, the inherent low reliability of this technique, the small number of replicates and the lack of suitable statistical methods for the analysis of such a large number of attributes (genes) impair accurate data interpretation. To overcome this problem, we combined results of two independent analysis methods (ANOVA and RELIEF). We applied this analysis protocol to compare gene expression patterns in Saccharomyces cerevisiae growing in the absence and continuous presence of varying low doses of radiation. Global distribution analysis highlights the importance of mitochondrial membrane functions in the response. We demonstrate that microarrays detect cellular changes induced by irradiation at doses that are 1000-fold lower than the minimal dose associated with mutagenic effects.