Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The passage of nuclear radiations through materials may cause chemical and physical changes in these materials. Particles of ionizing radiation pass some or all of their energy to the electrons of the material and thus cause ionization or excitations. Because of the significance of water in biological and chemical systems, its decomposition by nuclear radiation has been studied. Processes of ionization and excitation cause the formation of the free radicals (H) and (OH) from pure water. These may react to form H2O2. In a biological system the effects of ionizing radiation on H2O may ultimately result in cellular disturbances. For example, it can be calculated that a lethal dose of 1000 roentgens affects only one atom out of 2 times 107 atoms. There have been many studies of the effect of radiation on various constituents of biological system. Irradiation of blood generally results in a rise in plasma volume, enzymatic activity, and the albumin-globulin ratio. It is possible that a study of the effect of irradiation on blood sugar and other blood constituents may provide an insight into the etiology of radiation sickness. If the radiation converted the glucose to furan 2, 5- dicarboxylic acid, a portion of this acid would be radioactive and could be determined by the carrier technique of analysis.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Radiation -- Physiological effect
Gamma rays
Sugar in the body


Includes bibliographical references




South Dakota State University