Are Dogs of Chernobyl Genetic Mutated by the Nuclear Power Plant?

Are Dogs of Chernobyl Genetic Mutated by the Nuclear Power Plant?

  • For many years, researchers have been studying the effects of radiation on animals living near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Their findings have included insights into changes to the animals' health, growth and evolution due to increased radiation levels.
  • A recent study compared the DNA of 302 feral dogs living close to a power plant to the ones living 10 miles away and found significant differences in their genetics.
  • The study, although unable to prove that radiation causes the observed differences in irradiated dog populations, provides a vital first step in understanding how they contrast with dogs living elsewhere. This data is incredibly important in furthering research and analysis.

On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor in Ukraine exploded and released a hazardous plume of radiation into the atmosphere.

Three and a half decades after the Chernobyl disaster, the region around the power plant remains uninhabitable and poses a serious safety risk to humans.

The nuclear meltdown in 1986 released large amounts of dangerous radiation into the environment, leading to high levels of contamination and long-lasting environmental damage. Despite ongoing efforts to clean up the area, it is still considered unsafe for humans to inhabit or visit.

Animals have flourished in the absence of humans. In areas exposed to radiation, there are numerous feral dogs that are descendants of pets left during the abrupt evacuation years ago.

The 40th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster is fast approaching. Biologists are investigating the animals living in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone to determine the impacts of radiation exposure over many years on their genomes & possibly how it has led to accelerated evolution. This area is roughly similar in size to Yosemite National Park.

Image by Karen Warfel from Pixabay