Skip to comments.Butterflies in the Fukushima Region Plagued by “Genetic Damage” and “Severe Abnormalities”
Posted on 08/15/2012 2:50:26 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
Butterflies in the Fukushima Region Plagued by Genetic Damage and Severe Abnormalities
A study of the pale grass blue butterfly in the regions around the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, site of the 2011 radiation disaster, has revealed that the insects are giving birth to mutants at an alarming rate. Indeed, the butterflies collected from younger generations have more abnormalities than butterflies born directly after the power plant began leaking radioactive particles into the environment. That means the genetic damage caused by the radiation leak has been inherited by subsequent generations.
Above, you can see images taken from the study, published this week in Nature, showing the various kinds of abnormalities the scientists spotted. Among them are dented eyes, deformed eyes, deformed wings, and a misshapen right palpus (a sensory organ the butterfly also uses to eat). Butterflies were collected from a wide region around Fukushima, and the highest number of mutations were found nearest to the power plant.
Write the authors of the study in their introduction:
Here we show that the accident caused physiological and genetic damage to the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, a common lycaenid butterfly in Japan. We collected the first-voltine adults in the Fukushima area in May 2011, some of which showed relatively mild abnormalities. The F1 offspring from the first-voltine females showed more severe abnormalities, which were inherited by the F2 generation. Adult butterflies collected in September 2011 showed more severe abnormalities than those collected in May. Similar abnormalities were experimentally reproduced in individuals from a non-contaminated area by external and internal low-dose exposures. We conclude that artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused physiological and genetic damage to this species.
This is one of the first studies to demonstrate the effect that the Fukushima accident is having on local wildlife. The researchers write their work has "invaluable implications for the possible future effects of radiation on animals." They recommend further study of animals exposed to contamination, as well as "the possible risk of internal exposure from ingestion [of plutonium]."
This news sounds like we're halfway to a cheesy Japanese sci-fi movie.
In all seriousness though, Godspeed to the people of Fukushima Japan
Further reference ...
The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly
Have butterflies ever been studied so closely.
Let’s say in the past 20 years, 1,000 of a species of butterflies were studied. 10% had birth defects.
Now let’s say in the time since the disaster, 10,000 butterflies have been studied. 1,100 of those are shown to have birth defects. There was an increase recorded.
Science often says the nuclear disaster has caused an increase in birth defects and is obviously going to affect humans the same way. We’ll need a $10M grant to study this closer and try and find a way to mitigate the affect to humans.
Given that sunlight delivered to Earth is a nuclear product, this observation indicates that nuclear actions have something to do with the creation of new (aka: “deformed”) life forms.
That’s nice but an Emperor butterfly would probably be more appropriate in this case.
...how bout a common moth that thinks he’s an Emperor butterfly
Yeah, maybe an image of an ugly old moth with “EMPEROR” scribbled across the wings.
Wildlife is thriving in the Chernobyl area.
So, is this study really telling us what has happened to Kalifornians?
I was in a meeting with a nuclear scientist/engineer yesterday discussing the radiation levels for a RAD-lab that we are thinking about abating for a renovation.
Afterwards we discussed the real threat of radiation exposure at measured levels Vs. the perceived threat and regulated necessity of action to prevent exposure at regulated levels. He was summonned to Japan to investigate the radiation levels. So he is one of the world’s foremost experts. He does have some impressive creds so I don’t doubt him.
Here is what we agreed and laughed about after I asked him about reality Vs. regulated radiation levels.
“If the regulatory agencies held nature to the same standards that they hold companies and industries to, no human would be allowed to go outdoors without wearing protective gear. Radiation exposure from the sun is far in excess of what the regulatory agencies would allow for industry. Beachgoers will likely be exposed to more radiation in Fukishima in one day from the sun then they are likely to be exposed to from the local accident in a lifetime (Unless they are eating highly contaminated particulates on a regular basis).”