Revise GCSE Physics


Question:What are the four possible outcomes for a cell absorbing a particle of nuclear radiation?

1. The cell is killed - if this only happens to a small number of cells there is not a problem since we are made of lots of cells. If a lot of cells die because of radiation, it is often called a radiation burn or radiation poisoning and can be fatal if too many cells are involved.

2. The cell's DNA is damaged but the cell repairs its DNA correctly and continues as though nothing had happened.

3. The cell's DNA is damaged but the cell repairs its DNA incorrectly, this can cause the cell to die. Not a problem if it does not happen to too many cells.

4. The cell's DNA is damaged but the cell repairs its DNA incorrectly, this can cause the DNA to function incorrectly, which is called a mutation and can lead to cancer.