Explain how radiation can cause genetic defects. Has this ever been observed in laboratory animals? In humans?
Here, we are going to explain how radiation can cause genetic defects.
Every living organism’s cell has a nucleus in it, consisting of chromosomes. The chromosomes contains the genetic material called DNA. The genetic defects caused by the radiation are:
- Radiation causes ionization resulting in the production of unusual, highly active molecules. The reaction of these molecules with some portions of DNA harms the chromosome causing mutation during reproduction.
- Damage of the cell may lead to uncontrollable growth as a cancer cell.
- Damage of the reproductive cell in the sperm or ovary may be transmitted to the next generation and as a result, a child may be born with brain damage or deformed hands.
- Extensive damage may lead to miscarriage.
Yes, this may be observed in laboratory animals and humans. That is why, in laboratory certain precautions are taken before carrying out experiments with radiations. It may lead to sickness, vomiting, fever or headaches.