2-Methyl-1,3-cyclohexanedione has been found to protect Escherichia coli against both the inactivating effects of ultraviolet light and <tex-math>${}^{60}{\rm CO}\text{-induced}$</tex-math> lethality. Of a number of structurally related compounds tested, only 1,3-cyclohexanedione and 5,5-dimethyl-1,3-cyclohexanedione protected Escherichia coli against radiation effects. The mechanism(s) by which the compounds act are unknown.

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