In the field of biological studies, next to the standard methods, new tools are offered by contemporary physics. X‐ray spectroscopic techniques enable probing electronic structure of occupied and unoccupied states of studied atom and distinguish the oxidation state, local geometry, and ligand type of elements that occur in biological material. Direct analysis using X‐ray spectroscopy avoids many chemical preparation steps that might modify biological samples. The information obtained gives us insight into important biochemical processes all under physiological conditions. In this chapter we focus our attention to the application of X‐ray spectroscopy to the study of biological samples, with special emphasis on mechanisms revealing interaction between DNA and different cytotoxic agents and in the determination of changes in oxidation state of different elements in pathologically altered human cells and tissue.
Part of the book: X-ray Scattering