Study Finds Chernobyl Dogs Evolving Fast.


For decades, scientists have examined animals living near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant to determine how radiation affects their health, growth, and evolution.

A new study compared the DNA of 302 stray canines near the power station to those 10 miles away and found significant alterations.

The study doesn't establish that radiation caused these alterations, but it's a crucial first step in evaluating these irradiated populations and comparing them to other canines.

The Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor in northern Ukraine—then part of the Soviet Union—exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing radiation into the sky.

Nearly four decades later, the Chernobyl Power Plant and much of the surrounding area are still unoccupied by humans.

Many of the thousands of feral canines living among radiation-resistant animals are offspring of pets left behind in the rapid evacuation years ago.

To better understand radiation's effects on 302 feral canines from the CEZ, scientists from the University of South Carolina and the National Human Genome Research Institute are studying their DNA.

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