Advertisement

More Mutations in Fukushima Butterflies

Researchers have found an increase in butterflies with unusual wing shapes, legs, and antennae than before the nuclear disaster.

By | August 15, 2012

image: More Mutations in Fukushima Butterflies Pseudozizeeria maha, the pale grass blue butterflyWikimedia Commons, Laitche

Butterflies collected from sites near Fukushima 2 months after the power plant leaked radiation into the environment showed more than double the mutation rates of butterflies collected from other sites in Japan. The researchers, who hail from University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, reported their findings last week (August 9) in Scientific Reports.

Indeed, each subsequent generation arising from the first radiation-affected butterflies had more severe physical abnormalities than its parent generation. Part of this can be explained by the passing down of damaged genes, but an additional factor, the researchers say, was that butterflies ate contaminated food in the area, which can be more damaging than external exposure.

"It has been believed that insects are very resistant to radiation," lead researcher Joji Otaki from the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, told BBC News. "In that sense, our results were unexpected."

Advertisement
The Scientist
The Scientist

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo
Advertisement

Popular Now

  1. Neanderthal-Human Hybrid Unearthed
  2. Extra DNA Base Discovered
    The Nutshell Extra DNA Base Discovered

    An epigenetic variant of cytosine is stable in the genomes of living mice, suggesting a possible expansion of the DNA alphabet.

  3. Next Generation: Smart Insulin Patch
  4. LabQuiz: Cell Health
    Sponsored Quiz LabQuiz: Cell Health

    Are you a Cell Doctor? Find out how much you really know about apoptosis, autophagy, oxidative stress, and factors affecting cell health and receive a free wallchart entitled “Apoptosis Signaling and Detection” for taking our LabQuiz.

Advertisement
Advertisement
The Scientist