I was concerned the number of insects like ants abnormally reduced in my garden in Katsushika.
I contacted Mr. Tomita, who studies the environmental pollution and has already began a living-body experiment using silkworms to seize the effects of pollutants. He came all the way from Osaka to set up the experiment. Eggshell of silkworm is extremely hard, so that embryo can hardly get damaged by most pollutants.
They don’t die even when they are boiled in 10N, 48 hydrochloric acid for 5 minutes.
When a silkworm ecloses, it breaks the eggshell. Therefore, they can possibly be affected by harmful materials attached to the eggshells.
1. Experimental Outline: Put the radiation contaminated dirts (listed below) and 60 silkworm eggs in each container, and observe eclosion and process of growth.
Alpha ray is shielded by placing plastic sheet and then paper over the dirt of container 1, 2 and 3.
- Container 1. Zeolite@159Bq/kg [...]
- Container 2. The dirt gathered in my garden in Katsushika 4,780Bq/kg [...]
- Container 3. The dirt gathered in Katsushika 5,890Bq/kg [...]
- Container 4. The dirt gathered in my garden in Katsushika/silkworms grown directly on it. 4,780B/kg [...]
The number of surviving worms are as below.
- Container 1. 56
- Container 2. 55
- Container 3. 56
- Container 4. 3
The hatching rate of the container 4 is remarkably low, and some larva were about 10 times bigger than the average at the time of eclosion.
The pictures of the silkworms were shown to Mr. Tomita and he gave the following comment
The worms of container 1, 2 and 3 seems to me to grow normally, however, the ones in container 4 are abnormal. They remind me of Godzilla.
I suppose that they grow enormous not because their DNA was damaged but because the damage to epigenetics of DNA causes to produce more growth hormones than usual. When about 2-year old silkworms are grown on a chipboard, rapidity of growth varies greatly. It is considerable that chemical materials affect hormonal series. Some female patients of Suginami sickness grew a mustache or male patients had brest.
Almost all eggs of the container 4 died maybe because of the damage by alpha ray, however, the damage happened not to be fatal, so that there were some larvas still alive, though they should have been affected by radioactivity during the process of growth.
Published: August 13th, 2012 at 10:59 am ET
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