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Dna Essay

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DNA Paper
Amber Wigtion
Chem109
August 31, 2014
Mrs. Garrett

DNA is what makes us who we are; our looks and characteristics. DNA can be altered if exposed enough to radiation. Such alters could result in cancers, mutations, and genetic disorders.
There are different forms of radiation that gets emitted from a radioactive nucleus that is unstable. The three types of radiation particles are beta, gamma, and alpha particles. The alpha particles have high energy and are fast moving atoms made up of helium. As a result of their large mass, they are stopped by a piece of paper or just a few inches of air. Beta particles have energy that ranges from a few hundred keV to several MeV. These are fast moving electrons and because they are lighter than helium atoms, they are capable of penetrating much easier than alpha particles. Beta particles can penetrate through very thin plastic, light metals, and through several feet of air. Gamma particles are photons. They are similar to light but have higher energy. Gamma particles can penetrate through several inches of lead or be stopped by a thin piece of aluminum (S-Cool, 2014). Radiation can damage the DNA of an individual if highly exposed. When DNA gets damaged, then the instructions that tell the body how to be built get rewritten in a sense. High energy of radiation can tear the DNA, and remove one, or millions of the letters that make up the DNA. This damage will have a huge impact on a person’s cell if t cannot replace itself in time. If the cell is unable to heal itself and replicate cancer can form. Radiation can also cause damage to the DNA by breaking the double strands. If those are unable to repair itself, the DNA can be duplicated, deleted, or misplaced where it does not belong; causing genetic disorders and or cancers. This can also cause problems for a person’s offspring’s chromosomes as chromosomes are...

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