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The authors studied the effects of Static Electric Fields as radiation sensitizers of the DNA repair mechanism in a strongly-radiation-resistant organism such as D. radiodurans.

Although some issues must be attended, I consider that results presented in this work are very interesting. However, I also consider that mayor revisions must be made for the manuscript to be published.

Following there are some observations and questions about this work.

Mayor revisions:

Matherials and Methods

In page 6, the authors mention three sets of samples. However, it is not clear for me which was the number of independent experiments performed. Is n equal to 3? If this is the case, why the authors use parametric methods like ANOVA and Tukey test for the statistical analysis? They are assuming a normal distribution. Are the authors sure that these data have a normal distribution? Why this issue is not mentioned in the Materials and Methods section?


Why error or SD bars are not shown in Table 1 and Figure 4? Is this because results presented in Table 1 and Figure 4 were obtained from mean values? Did the authors do the same plots of Figure 4 for each individual experiment? How many independent experiments were the source of these data?


To eye inspection of Figure 3, the slopes between doses of 0-4 and 4-8 KGy-1 seems not to be so different. Linear fit is needed.

Minor revisions:


I think that point 4.1 of Discussion should be in the Results section. There is no discussion in these paragraphs.

Discussion about results in Figure 2 in page 9 is ok, but although it seems to be graphycally clear, the linear assumption must be supported by model fit.

The authors make a strong supposition at the end of page 11, which is justified in the Appendix. The authors could refer to the Appendix here.


At the beggining of the Appendix, in page 13, the authors make a hypothesys that is supported with references that are mentioned later. These references could be mentioned here.

The assumption made for Figure A, at the end of page 15 is based on results obtained in other work with plasmids and not the DNA from D. radiodurans. However, the explanation given by the authors is acceptable.

Posted by Anonymous reviewer on 14 Mar 2014 06:39:50 PM GMT

The manuscript "Radio sensitization by static electric fields is observed in the extremophilic Deinococcus radiodurans exposed to gamma radiation" addresses a quite important task.

The Methods and Findings of this article are clear.

But the Introduction to the resarch backgound is too simple and not complete, the references are not rich enough and especially in the last five years' references are just very few and not advanced.

The 4 Conclusions are listed clearly, but the authors need to check the strong of all these conclusions through the further analysis of the research Methods and Materials, their Discussion and analysis, and Figures 1-4 and Table 1. Figure A is too small.

All in all, this manuscript has some creative findings in some sense. After revision to refine this article, it should be a verg good and useful article to academic biophysics society.



Posted by Anonymous reviewer on 10 Mar 2014 01:51:19 PM GMT