Biologist on Mutated Butterflies: Study is overwhelming in its implications for humans — Japan Researcher: Insects were believed to be very resistant to radiation — Irregularly developed eyes, malformed antennae, much smaller wings (PHOTO)

Published: August 13th, 2012 at 3:46 pm ET


Title: ‘Severe abnormalities’ found in Fukushima butterflies
Source:  BBC News
Author: Nick Crumpton
Date: August 13, 2012

Exposure to radioactive material released into the environment have caused mutations in butterflies found in Japan, a study suggests.

Source: Scientific Reports

Scientists found an increase in leg, antennae and wing shape mutations among butterflies collected following the 2011 Fukushima accident.

The link between the mutations and the radioactive material was shown by laboratory experiments, they report. […]

the team found that areas with greater amounts of radiation in the environment were home to butterflies with much smaller wings and irregularly developed eyes. […]

Six months later, they again collected adults from the 10 sites and found that butterflies from the Fukushima area showed a mutation rate more than double that of those found sooner after the accident.

[…] the findings from their new research show that the radionuclides released from the accident were still affecting the development of the animals, even after the residual radiation in the environment had decayed. […]

Lead researcher Joji Otaki from the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa

  • “It has been believed that insects are very resistant to radiation”
  • “In that sense, our results were unexpected”
  • “[Because] this butterfly is found in artificial environments – such as gardens and public parks – this butterfly can monitor human environments”

University of South Carolina biologist Tim Mousseau, who studies the impacts of radiation on animals and plants in Chernobyl and Fukushima, but was not involved in this research

  • “This study is important and overwhelming in its implications for both the human and biological communities living in Fukushima”
  • “These observations of mutations and morphological abnormalities can only be explained as having resulted from exposure to radioactive contaminants”

See also: [intlink id=”shocking-comparison-image-shows-severe-mutation-of-japan-butterflys-stump-like-wings-photo-scary-that-humans-could-also-be-affected-by-radioactive-mutations” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: August 13th, 2012 at 3:46 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Japan Times: Study finds ‘abnormalities’ in 52% of second generation offspring from butterflies collected May 2011 — Unusually small wings, premature death August 12, 2012
  2. Time: A positive way to spin mutant butterflies found near Fukushima August 18, 2012
  3. Comparison image shows severe mutation of Japan butterfly’s stump-like wings (PHOTO) — Reporter: “Scary” that humans could be affected by mutations too August 14, 2012
  4. Study: Significant decrease in abundance of Fukushima birds and butterflies as radiation levels increase -NYT July 12, 2012
  5. More images of deformed butterflies after Fukushima — Wings folded over, rumpled, much different sizes (PHOTOS) September 21, 2012

26 comments to Biologist on Mutated Butterflies: Study is overwhelming in its implications for humans — Japan Researcher: Insects were believed to be very resistant to radiation — Irregularly developed eyes, malformed antennae, much smaller wings (PHOTO)

  • harengus_acidophilus

    "…, even after the residual radiation in the environment had decayed."

    Once upon a time…


  • arclight arclight

    amazing that the bbc covers butterflies but not children….


    • arclight arclight

      and if you do a google.. slim pickings

      BBC News – Fukushima child's playtime starts with a fallout check

      BBC Two – Children of the Tsunami, Playing in the Streets of … Mar 2012 – How the 2011 tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear accident have affected children's lives.

      Playing in the Streets of Fukushima – Children of the Tsunami – BBC …

      Fukushima Disaster BBC Report on Children and the Protection of power plants
      24 Oct 2011 – 3 min – Uploaded by alphaspheric
      BBC report on Fukushima, Children, and the future for Japanese defences of nuclear power plants.

      and bbc childrens thyroid fukushima

      BBC News – Japan quake: Fukushima children receive thyroid tests Oct 2011 – Japanese health workers have begun checking more than 300,000 children living near the Fukushima nuclear plant for thyroid abnormalities.

      and finally some found a mention of all those search terms

      Protesters demonstrate against nuclear power plants at Japan's … › Environment › Nuclear power30 Jul 2012 – Multiple inquiries into the Fukushima nuclear disaster have pointed to the failure

      … The BBC, by contrast, has been almost entirely silent. …..

      The fact that 35% of Fukushima children (average age around 10) have thyroid cysts ..

      of course it wasnt a…

      • arclight arclight article..

        but it is damming that the bbc have done no articles or media material of any sort about this terrible tragedy of the children of fukushima.. plenty of support for the chinese bidding for our nuclear stockpile as edf are going bust..

        of course there was this….. 🙂

        Fukushima: BBC Debunked

        • arclight arclight

          lets see if th beeb can debunk this

          The insidious effect of ionising radiation, over time

          "….Radiation poses a long-term danger because it mutates DNA, rewriting the genetic code in ways that can lead to cancerous growth of cells.

          workers at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant absorbed 0.4 to 1 Sv of radiation per hour while contending with the nuclear disaster last March. Although they survived in the short term, their lifetime cancer risk increased

          Limits Of The Human Body: How Much Sleep Deprivation, Radiation & Acceleration Can We Survive? HUFFINGTON POST, : 08/13/2012 By: Natalie Wolchover One hears epic accounts of people surviving bullets to the brain, 10-story freefalls or months stranded at sea. But put a human anywhere in the known universe except for the thin shell of space that extends a couple of miles above or below sea level on Earth, and we perish within minutes. As strong and resilient as the human body seems in some situations, considered in the context of the cosmos as a whole, it’s unnervingly fragile….."

  • One of the first questions I ever asked was, "What would be the first 'visible' signs of radioactive contamination?"

    My own research well over a year ago suggested it would be insects. It didn't take me long to figure this out.

    So, when I read where the 'expert' said… “It has been believed that insects are very resistant to radiation”, I was shocked.

    Of course insects are the first visible signs. Chromosomes are chromosomes whether you're an amoeba or a blue whale. Things that have faster reproductive cycles will show signs faster.
    ie… INSECTS!

    Cornelia Hesse Honegger – artist

    "My first collecting tour around the nuclear power plant Gösgen, in the canton of Aargau, alerted me to the possibility that terrible findings awaited me, as the deformities I detected with my binocular microscope were comparable to, and even worse than the ones I had found in Sweden and in the Ticino, fallout areas of the Chernobyl radioactive cloud." – Honegger ~1989

    "The Swiss “Commission for the Protection from Radioactivity” estimated in 1988 that as a result of the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl, the Swiss population would have 2 to 22 additional genetic anomalies for the next 100 YEARS" – 1988
    (based on the data they had at the time)

    What happens when some of those genetic anomalies (mutations) reproduce?

    The 'chain of life' is broken. No doubt about it.

  • Yep, In Hawaii the flies went away for almost a year, and the first 3 months we had the most unusual clouds and lightning storms, and Hawaii rarely has lightning like maybe 2 times a year.

  • Cockroaches vs nuclear blast.

    They are not as tough as you might think.

    Mythbusters episode:

    However, they did not test or really consider chromosome damage or reproductive cycles of the insects.

    But they did say…
    "Busted, just like our chances of reproducing."
    ha, ha

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    Since this topic came up, what have you all noticed with insects in your areas? I like in Blaine MN, USA and we have had decent amounts of rain, no drought here, but I have seen 2, thats correct, 2 earth worms all summer crawling about after it has rained. I would expect to see 25 in my driveway alone, 100 in the street, after a good rain. My oaks, although acorn production IS cyclical, have produced almost nothing in the way of acorns and it was there year. Also, not very bad mosquitos for the rain we've had. Anyone else?

    • Earthworms were impacted by Chernobyl for the same reason cockroaches were.

      Both animals live in the dirt.

      Cockroaches have hair like structures on their legs used for breathing. Earthworms eat dirt. Both bio-accumulate elements in the soil.

      See Mary Mycio's Wormwood Forest: A Natural History of Chernobyl

      She claims that insects that live in the soil were adversely affected by Chernobyl.

    • milk and cheese milk and cheese

      Eastern Canada: Lots of mosquitoes in the area, most of them recently diagnosed as carrying West Nile virus. There are many, many butterflies in the area, all of which appear to be normal.

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "Insects were believed to be very resistant to radiation."

    Did this researcher have ANY background in radiation studies? No previous experience with Chernobyl research? Why would a newbie be in charge of research like this?

    No wonder the results surprised him. We're lucky any of this got out. Probably wasn't supposed to. Certainly won't get a lot of press in the US or Canada.

  • arclight arclight

    Our Planet TV needs your help !

    "..Your support is needed to sustain and grow Our Planet TV!
    Even after the tragic accident on March 11th, at the Fukushima nuclear power plant the government and TEPCO continued to underestimate and underreport the severity of the accident and the potential effects on the surrounding population.
    The mainstream media followed this lead by not questioning the information they were getting from the government and TEPCO and simply passed along what they were being told, always telling the best case scenario…"

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Good. The butterly story made it to the main page of our biggest national news outlet, Der Spiegel.
    I'll spread it far and wide… 🙁

    • arclight arclight

      hi bnb
      WHO is their main advertising revenue
      you will find the answers there
      for this

      "…Otaki but warned against jumping to conclusions: The findings could not be easily transferred to other species or to humans. The researchers are now planning studies in other animal species.

      The earthquake and subsequent tsunami on 11 March 2011 was the Fukushima nuclear power plant was heavily damaged. It came to the meltdown in three reactors, large areas were contaminated with radiation. It was the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, although according to official figures, so far no one has died as a result of the Fukushima disaster…."

      same cut and paste BS as the uk version.. 😉
      and enenews gave the link to the report with all the pictures in 🙂

      der spiegel or just der not relevant

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        Hi arc, Der Not Relevant is brilliant!
        I choked when I saw some of the comments à la "mutations don't survive anyway" or "that's how evolution works"….
        I was just happy to see it at least published anywhere


    • aigeezer aigeezer

      That's encouraging, Heart, but August is always the "silly season" for msm. Anything published in August is likely not to be noticed by the public. With any luck, the story will be back in the headlines after Labor Day also.

    • from NBC article:

      "Effects of low level radiation is genetically transferred through generation, which suggests genetic damage. I think it’s clear that we see the effects passed on through generations," Otaki added.

      …and that's just one of the problems with Nuclear Power.

      Death through genetic destruction. What a way to go.

      Radiation Causing Mutations (film 1960)

      We know what this 'crap' does.
      It needs no further study!!!

      Just STOP these insidious Death Machines. That would be the right thing to do.

  • EngineeringBloke

    I was wondering if the Flu is as resistant to radiation-caused DNA change as the butterflies. It has to have more life cycles than insects.

    I believe the birds and pigs where Flu typically develops are up wind of Japan in mid-Asia, so they may have less exposure to radiation – which would be good.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Interesting question, Bloke. To paraphrase – I think you are wondering if viral DNA as found in a flu virus is susceptible to change/damage/mutation from radiation. My understanding is that any and all DNA is potentially vulnerable to such change, but your question sent me to look online and I found an answer from a pro-nuke government site:

      Their answer carefully avoids any mention of nuke, but even so the short answer to your question is that viral DNA IS susceptible to radiation damage. One more thing to worry about, I guess.

      • aigeezer aigeezer

        Yikes – as an afterthought – bird migration patterns might be more important than wind patterns for avian flu issues.

  • milk and cheese milk and cheese

    Birds also eat insects. Watch them, next.