Spike Jones wrote:
> > Peter Passaro wrote: As to whether it breaks the chain, that is
> > on
> > the trajectory of the electron emitted by the decay. ...
> why is that peter? the carbon atom emitting the electron
> becomes a nitrogen, so the compound must change
> chemically. i dont see what difference the beta decay
> electron trajectory makes. (?) spike
Basically, the position of the carbon that is decaying is important. Which part of the nucleotide (DNA monomer) is this carbon a member of and how much damage to nearby atoms does it cause when it decays? If the carbon is on the sugar-phosphate backbone of a strand it might cause breakage, if it is in the nitrogenous base damage would probably be less severe and the nucleotide in question would just be replaced by the enzymes which constantly error check our chromosomes by recognizing mishapen or incorrectly paired nucleotides.