Almost 30 years after a horrific accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant released massive amounts of radiation and became one of the world's worst nuclear catastrophes, the long-abandoned site has some new inhabitants: New research finds that many native wildlife species are once again finding refuge in the human-free Chernobyl Radiation Exclusion Zone in Ukraine.
The researchers suspect that wildlife initially returned to the area because it has been largely undisturbed by humans, which has allowed many species — larger mammals, in particular — to thrive, according to Igor Dabrinski, the study's observation team coordinator and a professor of environmental science at the University of Kiev.
MEANWHILE: With work done on these animals over the past few decades, scientists have made great strides in Genetic engineering and Gene sequencing, and that led to this announcement over the weekend!
"Gene editing could make pig-to-human organ transplants a reality!"
According to a study published this week in Science, we may be one step closer to using animals as organ donors for humans in need. While the study did not go so far as to demonstrate that these organs would be safe for humans, it showcased a new gene editing technique that removes some of the potential hurdles to such a transplant.
According to Dr. Ian McCormick of the University of Edinburgh, the next step for pig transplants is to create actual embryos with the edited genomes. --->
Nature reports that McCormick has co-founded a biotech company called eGenesis to perfect the process, and that their edited embryos are almost ready to be implanted and brought to term.