Ukrainian scientists have said the Chernobyl nuclear disaster has radically changed the lives of worms in the region, which now enjoy more sex.

Scientists in Sebastopol have compared the way worms reproduce around Chernobyl, where radioactivity levels in the soil are 100 times higher than normal, with their cousins elsewhere.

Nearly a quarter of irradiated worms are seeking out partners to reproduce sexually rather than asexually, against five percent in less-affected areas, the research showed.

This is because sexual reproduction allows the worms to transmit their most radioactivity-resistant genes to their offspring, giving them the most chances of adapting to their new environment.

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