ZRS – Center for Radioecology and Radiation Research
The focus of radioecology and radiation research is on the detection, explanation and health-relevant assessment of the effects of radionuclides on biological process chains.
On the one hand, a reliable quantitative determination of radionuclides in the trace concentration range by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) and high-resolution X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) is a basic requirement to achieve this. On the other hand, coupling microscopy and spectroscopy to detect and characterize radionuclide binding to biomolecules and biological structures will provide a view of molecular mechanisms of action. The experimental data obtained on biomolecules will be underpinned by quantum theoretical analyses using molecular dynamics. To complete the picture, radionuclide toxicities will be quantified in living model organisms and complex microbial communities. The immune system of plant cells will serve as a model system to understand the stress responses of cells to radionuclides, such as the formation of metabolites, at the molecular and cellular level.
At the Center for Radioecology and Radiation Research (ZRS), selected activities and infrastructures of the HZDR research areas Energy, Matter and Health will be linked, including all radioactive control areas, laboratories according to the biological safety level S1 and the Rossendorf Beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF).