• Cobalt-60 is a common radiation source, as is cesium-137.
  • The major effect of ionizing radiation on the cell is the disruption of the DNA strand.
  • With the DNA structure damaged, the cell cannot reproduce in its normal fashion.
  • Protein synthesis is affected, as are a number of processes necessary for proper cell function.
  • One common effect is the generation of cancer cells.
  • These cells have an abnormal structure due to the damaged DNA.
  • In addition, they usually grow rapidly since the normal control processes regulating cell growth have been changed.
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