Since the Chernobyl disaster, stray dogs and wolves have flourished in this area abandoned by man. These animals that have been mutated by radiation will have a “genomic signature” in which certain regions become resistant to “increased risk of cancer”.
Could Chernobyl’s Mutant Wolves Help Medical Research Against Certain Cancers? Researchers at Princeton University (United States) seem to understand this and claim to have discovered a singular mutation in Chernobyl’s wandering wolves. A press release published on January 5 revealed that the samples studied may have developed a genetic mutation that favors the possibility of surviving cancer. TF1 information.
Chernobyl: Stray dogs genetically mutated after nuclear disaster
Chernobyl was abandoned by humans after the nuclear disaster in 1986; The dogs continued to live and breed there. As of now, there are seven times more wolves than in neighboring regions. Kara Love, an evolutionary biologist in Shane Campbell-Statten’s lab at Princeton University, is part of a team of scientists studying these unique animals.
Wolves survive six times the human limit of radiation
In 2014, she went there with the aim of better understanding their survival in this hostile environment. After taking blood samples, the team of scientists also placed special GPS collars on the wolves to get “where they are and how much radiation they are exposed to.”
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Ten years later, the collar’s data would show that these animals survived exposure to radiation six times the limit set for humans. “Chernobyl wolves survive and thrive despite generations of exposure and accumulation of radioactive particles in their bodies.”
“Resistance Against Increased Cancer Risk”
According to studies by Cara Love, whose work has not been published, the immune system of these mutant wolves will be similar to that of cancer patients subjected to radiotherapy. Blood tests revealed a “genomic signature” unique to these wolves. With this observation, the scientist “could have identified specific regions of the wolf genome that seem to be resistant to increased cancer risk”. If this work proves correct, it would mean that if mutations increase the risk of cancer in humans, some of them may prove to be protective.
If the information is confirmed when the results of this study are published, this could become an area of research in the fight against this particular cancer. The dog, a cousin of the wolf, fights cancer just like humans.