The phenomena is known as hormesis- the stimulating and protective effect of
small doses of radiation. See Physics today, Sept 1999, with other
references contained in the article.
There are analogies to HSP heat shock proteins which are suggestive.
In epidemiological work, one must always consider, that at low doses, the
incidences are small, so it takes a very large sample to obtain statistically
valid data. I also surmise, that studies of Japanese a bomb survivors may
show some bias, as these people received good medical observation as a part
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