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A radical is any compound with an unpaired electron (such as a methyl radical formed by burning hydrocarbons). They are significant because they are another example of an exception to the octet guideline and are so highly reactive that they can react with DNA and damage it.
Radicals are electrons with unpaired spins, some examples being the methyl radical or nitrogen monoxide. They are very reactive therefore very fleeting as well. There are also biradicals, which are molecules with 2 unpaired e-.
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