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No, Mutant Chernobyl Wolves Are Not Cancer-Resistant, Despite Massive Media Claims

You may have seen the headlines from February about a “study” that showed wolves around the Chernobyl Evacuation Zone (CEZ) had developed resistance to cancer. However, this is not true and should not be said to be so.

Covered by most retailers press release A Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology paper published in Newswise details the work of Dr. Kara Love, who studies wolves living in the area around the collapsed Chernobyl nuclear reactor site (CEZ) in Ukraine. . The site and surrounding area were all but wiped from the face of the earth when the reactor went into meltdown in 1986, poisoning hundreds of thousands of people and animals and contaminating the ground within the 1,000-square-mile site. did.

Love and her colleagues conducted a study of “mutant” wolves that were radio-collared in 2014 to see how their blood reacted to high levels of cancer-causing radiation in the community. It started. She found that these wolves were exposed to roughly six times the legal safety limit for the average human.

“Most human studies have found that mutations increase the risk of cancer ( BRCA But Love's research hopes to identify protective mutations that increase the odds of surviving cancer,” the press release states. Unfortunately, largely all heading I read This “study,” which is a press release rather than a study, claims that there is a link between radiation levels and a type of cancer resistance in wolves. But this is fundamentally untrue.

“Unlike wolves that live exclusively outside the CEZ, Love found that the Chernobyl wolves have altered immune systems similar to those of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. And most promisingly, she “We have identified specific regions in the wolf genome that appear to be resilient to increased cancer risk.” potential The relationship between this mutation and reduced cancer risk. However, this press release does not prove anything since it is not specified.

why Anyone To claim that wolves have “developed” some kind of resistance to cancer is ignorant and bold, and I don't understand it. That is reckless, heartless, and an outright lie. (Related: 'Twisters' trailer proves everyone needs to pay more attention to the weather)

But my intuition tells me that this complete manipulation of truth was without purpose. I truly believe that most of the people who wrote this press release either (a) have no formal academic training, or (b) are illiterate, or both.

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