Edward J Calabrese

This issue of the Newsletter is designed to extend the scientific horizons of BELLE from that principally focused on toxicological and risk assessment domains to the broader dimensions of the Life Sciences by critically examining the relationship of low dose environmental responses to the concepts of aging and biogerontology.

Are low levels of toxic substances including radiation to which we are exposed on a daily basis inherently harmful and a detriment to both duration and quality of aging? While this concept has been the prevailing belief over the latter decades of the 20th century, data have continued to emerge which suggests that this paradigm be re-examined. Rapidly emerging findings in the areas of molecular adaptations that are increased by low levels and stressor agents, the capacity for oxy-radicals to serve vital message functions in essentially all tissues and new findings indicating that low doses of radiation extend lifespan (Calabrese and Baldwin, 2000) make it imperative to look at the issue of hormesis from the vantage of leading biogerontologists. In this issue of the BELLE Newsletter Professor Suresh Rattan, University of Aarhus, Laboratory of Cellular Aging, Denmark and Editor of the journal Biogenontology, was invited to develop a position paper on whether and how hormesis may affect the aging process. The manuscript of Professor Rattan was then provided to 11 internationally recognized experts in the field of aging for expert commentary. Professor Rattan was then permitted the opportunity to address the commentaries. We trust that this exciting exchange of ideas will not only educate but also inspire research to clarify more fully how low doses of environmental stressors affect the aging process.


Calabrese, E.J., and Baldwin, L.A. (2000). The effects of gamma rays on longevity.