The addition of cysteine to exponentially growing cultures of E. coli 15T-inhibits their growth. Under such circumstances the x-ray sensitivity of bacteria decreases. The addition of cysteine results in an arrest of RNA, but not DNA, synthesis; further, the free SH content of the cells is enhanced. It is suggested that a correlation exists between the metabolic (toxic) effect of cysteine and its action, reducing radiosensitivity.

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