Scientists from the United States, Ukraine, Russia and Japan have estimated the number of hereditary mutations in children whose parents were exposed to radiation as a result of the Chernobyl accident in 1986.
In a new study, the authors studied germline cells from 130 children using whole-genome sequencing. All subjects were conceived and born after the accident between 1987 and 2002. The aim was to find out whether the number of newly formed mutations in the germ-line cells of these children exceeds the average for the population.
The fact is that mutations and other genetic changes in germline cells are inherited, unlike somatic cells.
Thanks to the development of the latest methods of genomic sequencing, only recently have it become possible to study the complete triple genome of the father, mother, and child at the population level, which is necessary for de novo mutation counting.
Scientists today estimate DNMs in a population at 50-100 new mutations per individual per generation. The results of a new study show that children whose parents were exposed to radiation at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, this figure does not exceed the population average, and they do not have excessive mutations in the cells of the germline.
Our research does not confirm the transgenerational effect of ionizing radiation on the DNA of the human germline.
Conclusion of the study