Beta radiation

A beta particle - an electron.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beta particles are electrons. Small and fast moving they are more difficult to protect you from, but they are somewhat less damaging than alphas. It would take a sheet of thin aluminium to protect you from beta radiation.

Like alpha radiation, beta is very damaging to DNA. Also, like alphas it is not easy to get the betas close to the DNA. They usually have to be swallowed, breathed or injected.

Beta particles cause serious structural damage to DNA, but they often only cause a single piece of damage. Several of our scientists are trying to harness beta radiation to target this damage to cancers cells leaving the normal cells untouched. This site will also help you understand how cells try to repair damage.

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Beta radiation causes severe damage to DNA.