Cellular Systems

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    Most cells are made up of 70% - 85% water.
    Due to the large quantity of water molecules in a cell, the water represents the molecules that will undergo the most interactions with radiation.
    When ionizing radiation interacts with the water two main outcomes are:

    • H2O becomes H2O+ through ionization.
    • H2O becomes H2O- through free electron capture.

    These are unstable and quickly change to:

    • H2O+ → H+ + OH
    • H2O- → H + OH-

    These unstable forms are known as Free Radicals.

    Page 82

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