What ‘Chornobyl dogs’ can tell us about survival in contaminated environments

Read the full story from Columbia University.

In the first step toward understanding how dogs — and perhaps humans — might adapt to intense environmental pressures such as exposure to radiation, heavy metals, or toxic chemicals, researchers found that two groups of dogs living within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone showed significant genetic differences between them. The results indicate that these are two distinct populations that rarely interbreed. While earlier studies focused on the effects of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster on various species of wildlife, this is the first investigation into the genetic structure of stray dogs living near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

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