Illustration of some processes involved in the radiation damage cascade. (a) X-ray-induced ejection of a primary photoelectron. (b) Generation of several hundred relatively low-energy (∼100 eV) electrons. (c) Bond breaking leading to internal stress and radical formation. (d) Radical attack of the protein. (e) Conformation changes of side chains and flexible loops in response to chemical damage. (f) Displacement and reorientation of individual damaged molecules. (g) Deformation and reorientation of local lattice domains. (h) Plastic failure and crystal cracking.