In April 1986, a reactor at the Chernobyl plant exploded, sending clouds of radioactive material across the countryside.

You might expect the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster to be a barren wasteland. But trees, bushes, and vines overtake abandoned streets surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power facility in the Ukraine. Now, researchers say they’ve discovered changes in the proteins of soybeans grown near Chernobyl that could explain how plants survive despite chronic radiation exposure.