Cosmic Rays and Human DNA

This video includes footage of Carl Sagan from COSMOS TV series.  In, this episode, Sagan sits inside a cave with a gieger counter, as it picks up bits of radiation zooming around at near light speed.  Then, Sagan says, “The evolution of life on Earth is driven in part through mutations by the deaths of distant stars.”   The description for this video reads as follows:

Is our fate indeed written in the stars? Is there a connection between climate change & the human DNA? 

Ever since the discovery in the 1920s that radiation can cause gene mutations, scientists speculated on the role that high energy cosmic rays might have played in evolution.

With this video we are touching a subject which many consider as controversial. Our personal view on that is that it shouldn’t be regarded that way, as “action and interaction” is the physics law governing all that’s happening in the Universe. Just keep an open mind and start by listening to some great scientists who tried to explain their findings in an easy to understand way.

– cosmic radiation (galactic radiation) reaches Earth every single moment
– human DNA is holding all information needed to build and “run” the human body
– human DNA is a long polymer made from repeating units called nucleotides
– the main role of DNA molecules is the long-term storage of information
– molecules do interact with radiation
– the mechanism of how does highly energetic radiation – interact with the DNA structure is not yet properly understood
– molecules interact at atomic level with incoming radiation
– the effects depend on the characteristics (frequency, speed of particles, etc) of the disturbing radiation and how is it absorbed or deflected by the “guest” structure


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