Chernobyl dogs may be genetically different from radiation

Chernobyl dogs shelter in many abandoned buildings or construction sites within the nuclear exclusion zone (EFE/Jordan Lapier).

A genetic study with 302 wild dogs Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ZEC) identified Genetically different canine populations from each other and dogs from other parts of the world.

The study argues, “The Unique genetic diversity These dogs “make them”.Best candidates“Future studies aimed at understanding the long-term genetic effects of high-radioenvironments on the health of large mammals.

The investigation, the details of which were released on Friday Scientific advancesDirected by Gabriella Spatola of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the University of South Carolina and Elaine Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Shortly after the largest nuclear disaster in Chernobyl history in April 1986, the Soviet government ordered the evacuation of the area around the nuclear power plant (CNPP) and the slaughter of domestic animals.

ZEC is divided into four core zones. Of these, the fourth (closest to the plant and most dangerous) has a radius of 30 kilometers.

The study was conducted on more than 300 dogs (EFE / Jordan Lapierre)

Over the years, the scarcity of humans has been favorable Return of wildlife and presence Wild animalsSome of them, like dogs, are descendants of domestic animals that stayed there.

Few studies have looked at the genetic effects of exposure to ionizing radiation (Known to increase mutation rates in various plant and animal species)But it is not clear how this will affect populations of large animals such as dogs.

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To find out, Spatola and his team used blood samples from 302 wild dogs collected from 2017 to 2019 by the Chernobyl Dog Research Initiative, which has provided veterinary care to these dogs since 2017 and collected samples for genetic analysis.

Floor Covering Plant (AFP)

Samples were collected from dogs living in the cities of Chernobyl (15 km) and Slavutych (45 km).

The group identified 15 complex family structures unique to the Chernobyl population Compared to other dogs worldwide, and with wide genetic variation within and between ZEC geographic locations, these dogs roam between locations, live in close proximity to each other, and breed freely.

In view of these data, the study concludes, “The Chernobyl dog population has great potential to inform studies of environmental resource management in resurgent populations.”

Ultimately, the secondary purpose of the structure is to partially demolish the old sarcophagus in the future.

However, in reports to SMC Spain, James Smith from the University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom) said, “Chernobyl only shows a different mix of species and families compared to other places, which is not surprising. To find The current population depends on a mix of specific species that survived the 1986 domestication extermination.”

He adds: “I am surprised that the authors did not clearly state that their results did not demonstrate that radiation was associated with differences in the population structure of the Chernobyl dogs” and that these dogs may be genetically different. “When the article does not present evidence to support a causal relationship between population structure and radiation dose” for radiation.

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In the same way, German Orizola from the Spanish University of Oviedo believes that the study only describes the structure of the wild population of Chernobyl dogs. As it does not include data on radiation exposure, it is not useful for studying the effects of radiation on these animals.

In addition, the Spanish researcher points out, this work was done between 2017 and 2019, radiation levels in the area after the accident have been reduced by more than 90%, and isotopes that are very harmful to organisms, I-131 has been gone for decades.

(with information from EFE)

Continue reading:

The Chernobyl disaster: the harrowing story of a survivor, a scientist who can’t stand the truth and the cover-up

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