How does radiation affect living beings?

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    Radiation is measured in rems (roentgen equivalent in man). At 25 rems radiation can start to alter blood cells, but no immediate damage will occur until a living being surpasses about 100 rems. At this level of radiation poisoning it can create headaches and vomiting. Doses of 300 rems or more will start to really do damage internally by damaging and killing off of white blood cells and cells in the digestive tract. Much like HIV/AIDS, victims of this much radiation will be extremely vulnerable to other infections or diseases. A dose of 800 rems is absolutely fatal, and there is no cure or way to combat the illness once exposed to radiation. 

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