Probing Radiation Damage at the Molecular Level

Mason, N. J.; Smialek, M. A.; Moore, S. A.; Folkard, M. and Hoffmann, S. V. (2006). Probing Radiation Damage at the Molecular Level. In: Proceedings of 23rd SPIG meeting AIP Conference Proceedings, 28 Aug - 1 Sep 2006, Serbia.




Radiation damage of DNA and other cellular components has traditionally been attributed to ionisation via direct impact of high-energy quanta or by complex radical chemistry. However recent research has shown that strand breaks in DNA may be initiated by secondary electrons and is strongly dependent upon the target DNA base identity. Such research provides the fascinating perspective that it is possible that radiation damage may be described and understood at an individual molecular level introducing new possibilites for therapy and perhaps providing an insight into the origins of life.

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