George, K., Willingham, V. and Cucinotta, F. A. Stability of Chromosome Aberrations in the Blood Lymphocytes of Astronauts Measured after Space Flight by FISH Chromosome Painting. Radiat. Res. 164, 474–480 (2005).
Follow-up measurements of chromosome aberrations in the blood lymphocytes of astronauts were performed by FISH chromosome painting at various intervals from 5 months to more than 5 years after space flight and compared to preflight baseline measurements. For five of the six astronauts studied, the analysis of individual time courses for translocations revealed a temporal decline of yields with half-lives ranging from 10 to 58 months. The yield of exchanges remained unchanged for the sixth astronaut during an observation period of 5 months after flight. These results may indicate complications with the use of stable aberrations for retrospective dose reconstruction, and the differences in the decay time may reflect individual variability in risk from space radiation exposure.