Unformatted text preview: gamma rays or X rays. The radiations change the chemical composition of microorganisms by forming ions in the organic materials of the cytoplasm. Highly reactive toxic radicals also form. Nonionizing radiations are typified by ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light affects the nucleic acids of microorganisms, inducing adjacent thymine residues in DNA molecules to bind to one another forming dimers. This binding changes the character of the DNA, making it unable to function in protein synthesis. Cell death soon follows. Although microwaves are a form of radiation, their direct effect on microorganisms is minimal. Microwaves induce water molecules to vibrate at high rates, creating heat. The heat is the killing agent rather than the microwaves....
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- Fall '07
- ultraviolet light., adjacent thymine residues, ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet, synthesis. Cell death