In April 1986, the world witnessed the worst nuclear disaster ever seen: the nuclear power plant accident. Chernobylwhich released radioactive substances into the environment and caused authorities to completely evacuate the city of Pripyat – located in northern Ukraine, just a few kilometers from the factory – and an area around it with a radius of about 30 kilometers.

In the rush of people to leave, some abandoned their dogs, which over time spread throughout the region. After the evacuation, abandoned pets were culled, but some managed to escape. Now these dogs are being tested by scientists who have found that they are ‘genetically different’.

In an unpublished study published in the journal Science AdvancesThe researchers analyzed the genomes of 302 dogs from the Chernobyl tragedy that lived in the area, including the facility itself and nearby places such as the city of Slavutych (45 km) and Chernobyl (15 km).

Genetically different dogs?

The study divided the dog populations into three distinct groups: those living in the city of Chernobyl, about 15 km from the plant, those living in the city of Slavutych, about 45 km from the plant, and those living in the plant. itself.

Genome sequencing was performed by taking blood samples from 132 dogs from the plant, 154 from the city of Chernobyl and 16 from the city of Slavutych. It turned out that they came from 15 different families.

It has also been noted that populations have different genetic compositions and “show great promise for research into the effects of continuous environmental radiation exposure in a large mammalian species.”

“This work presents the first characterization of a native species in Chernobyl and demonstrates its importance for genetic studies of the effects of exposure to low-dose and long-term ionizing radiation,” the scientists said in the study.

The scientists found that plant-dwelling dogs were more interbreeding and mostly resembling German shepherds, while dogs living some distance from the plant were a mix of more modern breeds similar to dogs found elsewhere.

The team plans to do more testing and research on dogs, and they hope this could reveal genetic mutations associated with survival in hostile radioactive environments.

Source: Tec Mundo

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I'm Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I've written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.


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