We thank Dr. Brenner for his useful comments on our recent paper on mBAND (1). We fully agree that there are a number of possible caveats in the search of clastogen signatures in the human genome. Two of such caveats are indeed pointed out by Dr. Brenner: the problem of radiation quality, i.e. the different track structure of particles with different charge at the same LET, and the methods used to harvest and identify chromosomes, in particular the difference between metaphase and prematurely condensed chromosomes. We would like to add a few more comments concerning these issues, which are already very well addressed in Brenner's letter.

One major problem in comparing our data with previous results obtained in Giemsa-stained samples (7) is the much greater complexity of aberration patterns uncovered by mBAND. Very often intrachromosomal exchanges are associated with interchanges, especially...

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