The Radioactive Dogs of Chernobyl are Evolving at Rapid Rate
Radiation was released into the air after an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in northern Ukraine in 1986.
Since, nobody has lived there,
but thousands of stray canines have made their home among the radiation-resistant plants and animals.
To learn how radiation exposure may have affected the genomes and
maybe sped up evolution in 302 feral dogs found in or around the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ),
biologists are currently examining their DNA.
Genetic differences between canines in Chernobyl City and
the strays around the nuclear power plant were found in the research.
The work is a first step toward confirming the idea of fast mutation or evolution owing to radiation exposure.
Dogs from non-irradiated areas can be compared genetically to strays from
the Chernobyl Power Plant and Chernobyl City.