jake on 2003.04.11
at 03:53 pm
New Scientist has an article involving worms who reside near the Chernobyl nuclear plant. The worms have begun to use sexual reproduction more frequently than in the past relative to asexual reproduction. When compared to similar worms from a body of water further away.
Polikarpov thinks the worms have switched to sexual reproduction in an attempt to protect themselves from the radiation. Sexual reproduction allows natural selection to promote genes that offer better protection from radiation damage, and "the resistance of populations as a whole will be increased", he suggests.
The study is part of a movement to discover the effects of radiation on species other than our own.
Posted in: Science
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