Chernobyl plants modified their genes to survive radiation

The radioactive fallout caused by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster affected not only people’s lives, but also the flora and fauna of the whole region. However, the plants in the area have modified their genes to survive the radiation, becoming a radioactive biosphere reserve.

In the middle of the decade of In the 1980s, one of the worst nuclear accidents in history occurred. man has never known. The catastrophic event occurred in the former Soviet Union, when a nuclear power plant located in the city of Chernobyl exploded. On that fateful day, many people died and an area of ​​142,000 km2 was contaminated with radioactive elements.

According to some investigations, the Ukrainian flora that survived the accident, was about 10 km2 from the reactor that exploded, and It would take them about 3 years to adapt to life in an environment contaminated with radioactivity.

How did the Chernobyl power plants survive the radiation?

Plants have a different cell structure than animals because transform frequently, so much so that they are able to generate new cells If necessary. This is why they can adapt to extreme changes, including radioactive effects dispersed in the environment.

According to the opinion of Stuart Thompsonexpert in biochemistry, vegetation has the power to replace its damaged structures and create other new cells. Thanks to this permanent transformation, the Chernobyl power plants they modified their genes to survive nuclear radiation.

Another reason for this miracle of nature to happen is related to the stiffness shown by plant tissues, because in most cases they are not connected to each other. In this way, the spread of damaged cells to the rest of the plant is prevented, as there is no arbitrary cell multiplication.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

plant chemical mechanisms

There was a time – thousands of years ago – when the Earth had in their natural environment a large amount of radioactive elements. During this period, plants have developed chemical mechanisms to adapt to this context and continue to live.

It was precisely another factor that allowed the Chernobyl plants to modify their genes, in order to protect their DNA and increase their survivability. Otherwise, it happened to animals in areas near the place of the explosion, thousands of them died from radioactivity. Because?

Everything is based on the sensitivity of animal cells to radioactive effects, even at very low doses, mutations begin to appear that eventually become cancerous tumors. Basically, the damaged particles in the tissues are reproduced by the cellular system and this information begins to be transmitted throughout the organism.

The fact that there is a connection and an organization between all the cells of a body – animal or human – has the consequence the rapid spread of cancer cells, caused by radioactivity present in Chernobyl, product of the nuclear accident. Leaving a number of cancer deaths that exceeds 4 thousand.

But when it comes to the Chernobyl plants, the story is totally different, because they modified their genes to survive the radiation. An example of this is the so-called red forest, it is a pine forest located not far from the explosion, which ended up absorbing the energy expelled by the nuclear reactor, the day of the disaster. As a result, the leaves of some of the trees turned reddish after the accident.

Chernobyl power plants respond well to radiation

The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is still in the news 36 years after the worst nuclear accident happened on earth. Today, thousands of tourists flock to the area around the site to see the remains of the factory up close and wander the deserted streets of the desolate city of Pripyat.

Aerial view of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Credit: The Spaniards.

Despite the negative impact on the region’s ecosystem, theChernobyl power plants continue to respond well to radiation effects. A great diversity of them adorn the new landscape decor and can be seen in different places camping at ease, as if nothing had happened.

You might also be interested in: They plant seeds that are over 2,000 years old and germinate successfully.

A few animals are also seen in the vicinity, but unfortunately most do not live long, as they die of radioactivity. The ability of plants to adapt to survive radiationIt is a wonder of nature. This is evidenced by those now growing and reproducing in Chernobyl, due to the genetic alteration they developed.

References: Xataka/BBC.

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