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"Severe Abnormalities" Found In Fukushima Butterflies

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the birth-of-mothra dept.

Japan 189

Dupple writes "The collapse of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant caused a massive release of radioactive materials to the environment. A prompt and reliable system for evaluating the biological impacts of this accident on animals has not been available. This study suggests 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."

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189 comments

butterfly effect? (5, Funny)

yagu (721525) | about 2 years ago | (#40975215)

How does this affect the butterfly effect? This could be chaos!

Re:butterfly effect? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975273)

The butterfly effect is chaos.

Re:butterfly effect? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975319)

Whoosh.

Re:butterfly effect? (4, Funny)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 2 years ago | (#40975637)

Whoosh.

The sound made by those butterfly wings.

Re:butterfly effect? (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40976405)

Godzilla butterflies!!! RUN!!!

Re:butterfly effect? (4, Funny)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#40976651)

That's Mothra you moron....

Re:butterfly effect? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975667)

Not funny. The full extent of the damage can be seen in these photos here. [wordpress.com]

Every time something nuclear comes up, someone has to come along and undermine it with these petty jokes.

Re:butterfly effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975705)

+1 internets to you good sir, i LOL'd

Re:butterfly effect? (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40976757)

Because every time something nuclear comes up, there is a slew of OH MY GOD NUCLEAR BAD!!! people. Who is not willing to compare its safety record, with fossil fuels (It best alternative).

I am not touting the Nuclear Energy is Clean, Safe, too Cheap to meter. However right now the effects of Fossil fuels is worse then the effect of nuclear energy.

We should expand our Nuclear Energy usage. At the same time we need a strong set of regulations involved and enforced to make sure Nuclear Energy stays safe. Using any mistake that goes on as a lesson learn to make it safer.

Re:butterfly effect? (2)

osu-neko (2604) | about 2 years ago | (#40976939)

I am not touting the Nuclear Energy is Clean, Safe, too Cheap to meter. However right now the effects of Fossil fuels is worse then the effect of nuclear energy.

We should expand our Nuclear Energy usage.

If it's true that fossil fuels and nuclear energy are the two and only two alternatives available, then your second statement logically follows from the first. If there are any other forms of energy, your second statement simply does not follow.

Re:butterfly effect? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#40977151)

Start moving significant quantities of spent fuel to dry cask storage. Then ask again. This should be no problem at all.

Re:butterfly effect? (3, Funny)

Hardness (990225) | about 2 years ago | (#40976133)

A mutated butterfly in Japan flutters it's wings, and it creates a three-eyed tornado in Kansas... So yes, chaos. Lots of chaos.

Re:butterfly effect? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#40976475)

Global warming!

Re:butterfly effect? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40976777)

Actually to get a Giant butterfly we will need far more Oxygen in our atmosphere for one to survive.

Re:butterfly effect? (1)

camperslo (704715) | about 2 years ago | (#40976569)

How does this affect the butterfly effect?

Putting the polonium in pollinate. Ask Arafat.

3 Eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975251)

2 wings instead of 4. Or is that 6? I do not comprehend it!
--Professor Farsnworth.

OH SHIT! (3, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40975255)

MOTHRA!!!!!!

Re:OH SHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975339)

One can only hope.

Re:OH SHIT! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40975409)

Don't worry, Godzilla [wikipedia.org] will take care of Mothra, and everything will be fine (unless you live in Tokyo).

Re:OH SHIT! (2)

WAG24601G (719991) | about 2 years ago | (#40975603)

You say that now, but you'll be glad Mothra's around when King Ghidorah arives.

Re:OH SHIT! (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#40975713)

OH NO! Tokyo!

Re:OH SHIT! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40975749)

OH NO! There goes Tokyo!

FTFY.

Go, go Godzilla! Yea...

you know what that song needs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976341)

requires the further liberal application of cowbell

Re:OH SHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976003)

History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men.

Re:OH SHIT! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40976837)

There should be a movie about people living in poverty and bankrupt governments and coprorations due to the massive capital damage movie heroes occur on cities every year.

DC, LA, and NYC will probably need to be rebuilt every 6 months.

I mean 9/11 was considered a major tragedy, the people who caused the damage are considered as some of our most evil people living in the world. But a couple of movie comic book hero's cause wide mass destruction and we parade them as heroes!!!

Re:OH SHIT! (1)

WastedMeat (1103369) | about 2 years ago | (#40976901)

Have you seen "Hancock"? It's not too far from what you describe.

Re:OH SHIT! (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 2 years ago | (#40975503)

Damn! Where are the Peanuts when you need them?

Re:OH SHIT! (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | about 2 years ago | (#40975891)

In a nursing home on Monster island?

Re:OH SHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975521)

I, for one, welcome our new butterfly overlords.

Re:OH SHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975551)

Not so fast, circletimesquare. You've posted far too many insightful comments to get off so easily with such an obvious karma whoring post. RTFA, goddammit, and tell us wtf it's saying in plain geek. kthxbai.

Re:OH SHIT! (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 years ago | (#40976391)

Mosura ya Mosura!
Dongan kasakuyan indoo muu

Here comes... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975287)

MOTHRA!

Damage? (0, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#40975311)

It's not damage until it proves to be detrimental. It seems to me that they're reproducing in the wild just fine.

of course not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975427)

in soviet russia it would be damage no questions asked. in free japan we need proof it's detrimental.

Re:Damage? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975459)

This is a complex and information-dense article. I'm so glad someone like you posted... with your brilliant and dismissive hand waving, now I don't have to read it or learn anything new. I now look forward to any Fukushima-scale nuclear events in my area as you have shown us that unless something is detrimental, it isn't damage. I bet flipper-babies probably even swim better than normal babies.

Re:Damage? (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#40975581)

Having flippers for feet when your peers are land-faring probably is detrimental. It is also probably detrimental if the flippers do not either come with gills or massively increased lung capacity / oxygen efficiency.

Re:Damage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976705)

Come on down!

We now sell all our flippers with gills!

Re:Damage? (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40975487)

It's a substantial change in a population post-incident. Whether the changes are beneficial or not is besides the point.

Re:Damage? (0, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#40975595)

Wrong. For all you know they could be beneficial changes. Until you know that the changes are detrimental you can't call them "damage" anymore than you can call all of evolution "damage".

Re:Damage? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40975691)

Oh, I see, so this is some sort of semantics pissing match you want to win. Call it what you like, but the odds are far greater that we're going to be dealing with very few beneficial mutations, and more than likely a good many bad ones, but hey, if it somehow makes you feel like you've won a debate, then so be it. In fact, I recommend you go and get some substantial dosage of radiation right now. After all, you can't call it damage until your dick falls off.

Re:Damage? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975795)

you can't call it damage until your dick falls off.

Forgive him. He works for a tobacco company.

Re:Damage? (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40975837)

Indeed. "Why, you can't call those malignant growths in your lungs harmful until you actually die. For all you know, they could give you superpowers!"

When you have severely malformed wings and eyes and other developmental abnormalities of a clearly genetic nature in a population, many of which are clearly deleterious from a purely fitness measurement, then it's not going over the top to call it "damage".

Re:Damage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976555)

You're preaching to the choir.

As you get older, you come to the realization that the world really does have some stunningly dumb people. You ignore them and move on.

P.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976597)

The username alone should have been a big clue that he's got serious mental problems. Don't waste your time arguing with rocks.

Re:Damage? (2)

Sentrion (964745) | about 2 years ago | (#40976991)

He probably works as a health insurance claims processor.

Re:Damage? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#40976887)

Oh, I see, so this is some sort of semantics pissing match you want to win. Call it what you like, but the odds are far greater that we're going to be dealing with very few beneficial mutations, and more than likely a good many bad ones, but hey, if it somehow makes you feel like you've won a debate, then so be it. In fact, I recommend you go and get some substantial dosage of radiation right now. After all, you can't call it damage until your dick falls off.

It sounds like you're mad and you want the butterflies to die off so you can use it as evidence to stir up FUD about radiation.
The butterflies have mutated, but are still able to breed and be successful butterflies. This isn't damage, it's change. Damage is, by definition, change that is detrimental. If you want to argue about anything it helps to know the definitions of the things you're arguing about. If you consider that to be a "semantics pissing match", then I can offer you no help.

Re:Damage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975709)

These changes are beneficial. The new butterfly is radiation resistant. This is not damage, but an improvement. We should examine the mice in the area so that we can improve our genetics accordingly. Radiation resistance is very important for space exploration where radiation exposure is a constant risk.

Re:Damage? (3, Informative)

steelfood (895457) | about 2 years ago | (#40975815)

There are no "beneficial" changes. There are only changes, in the form of mutations. The ones that do not produce viable offspring die. The ones that do continue to survive.

To question whether this change is beneficial is like asking whether water is good or evil.

What this is illustrating is the rate of change, which is fairly high. A high rate of change can be beneficial in the long run, but extremely damaging in the short run. And it is both damaging for the species concerned, as well as for the rest of the ecology which is dependent on the health of all its species.

If you extrapolate it to more advanced and sophisticated species, ultimately those with vertebrae, it's a frightening picture. Insects can handle quite a bit of mutation, as well as are built to resist radiation. Not to mention the species will survive by sheer reproductive numbers alone. More advanced lifeforms like birds and mammals cannot handle the radiation, cannot handle almost all but the smallest of mutations. Worse, birth rates decrease as complexity increases. A 99.9% chance of stillborn for an insect that lays hundreds of eggs is nothing. A mere nine in ten chance of stillborn for more advanced animals would irrepairably damage the species' survivability.

Not to mention that species survivability is a much lower threshold than maintaining civilization. So if you want to put a Good-Bad qualifier on these findings, it's Bad. Very Bad.

Re:Damage? (4, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#40976007)

There are no "beneficial" changes. There are only changes, in the form of mutations. The ones that do not produce viable offspring die. The ones that do continue to survive.

To question whether this change is beneficial is like asking whether water is good or evil.

A thousand times "wrong". In the context of evolutionary theory, a beneficial mutation provides a "benefit"... I know this is a radical logical leap. A beneficial change would be a mutation that allows an organism to better compete and ultimately have more offspring. It is nothing at all like asking about good or evil, it is about being better suited to the environment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation#Beneficial_mutations [wikipedia.org]

Re:Damage? (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#40976701)

Meh just ignore him. I agree with you and I have a pretty strong biology background (MD). Changes that are not beneficial we call "disease". But there are a whole bunch of other changes we might not even notice. Those are called genetic variability. So long as it's not detrimental to the organism and, per evolutionary rules, interfering with its ability to compete and mate, change is not necessarily "bad". It's just change.

Re:Damage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976151)

where are the enhanced humans from hiroshima? nagasaki? the experiments superpowers did on their own people and on remote tropical islands? chernobyl? the incidents where secrecy held? I'd say it doesn't look promising to me for the butteflies and for the japanese people.

Re:Damage? (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | about 2 years ago | (#40976547)

Butterflies lay offspring by the hundreds, have short enough lifespans that selection will take place soon after the event, lack the socializing effects of modern healthcare in humans, etc.

There's no doubt that there were millions of stillborn and otherwise irreparably genetically damaged butterflies already. The question is has it affected the long-term survivability of the species.

Re:Damage? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#40976695)

Read the article then comment.

Re:Damage? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#40976677)

And the change in population is entirely due to radiation and not, say at least partly, due to having had most of the landscape flooded by salt water and scoured by a tsunami? Caterpillars don't just drop out of the sky and hatch into butterflies. I'm sure their environment has been quite dented.

Re:Damage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975641)

It's not damage until it proves to be detrimental.

Read the story. It has pictures. The deformities are clearly not beneficial. Messed up eyes and such.

It seems to me that they're reproducing in the wild just fine.

That's not necessarily a good thing. A trait that dominates inheritance can destroy a species.

Abnormal levels of radiation are bad, mkay? Particularly internal radiation — the kind you get from isotopes blown out of a pressure vessel. Nuclear may be great, and you may really like it, and it may be absolutely necessary to our future, but that doesn't mean damage hasn't been done.

Re:Damage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975689)

It's not damage until it proves to be detrimental.

You are confusing the genetic change with the damage that caused it. It is definitely genetic damage but, as you point out, whether it has caused detrimental changes has yet to be seen.

Re:Damage? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975893)

They could have tested captive breeding in much higher radiation levels, but of course they haven't.

They actually were talking of using this butterfly species to monitor background contamination (non-radiological) of the human environment as these butterflies have been studied and are very sensitive to environmental changes. They have already noticed that these butterflies are changing due to current levels of global warming as seen in Japan.

There was also a mention on BBC website of "surprised by magnitude of effects because insects were thought to being resilient to radiation". Clearly, that is indication of not understanding insects. Many insects are very susceptible individually to environmental changes and I am NOT surprised by effects of low changes in radiation on individuals. Insect *populations* are very resilient to environmental changes because,

  1. they generally breed quickly, having short lifespans, and
  2. there is so many of them

Insect *populations* are resilient to toxins (pesticides, pollution) and other environmental stressors (radiation, climate change) because they will quickly adapt to those stressors. The same with these butterflies.

I suspect that you could increase radiation in a large area to 1-2Sv/yr, amount that would kill people, but insects like these butterflies and other short lived creatures, like mice, would survive. They would take a terrible short term hit until they could adapt, but in the span of a few generations, they would thrive once more.

Very interesting read.

http://today.ttu.edu/2011/04/25-years-later-amazing-adaptation-in-chernobyl/ [ttu.edu]

Oh no (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975329)

The start of Mothra!!!!

Re:Oh no (0)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#40975601)

Or Hulk butterflies. If you step on them, they rip off your foot.

Let me know... (1)

cynop (2023642) | about 2 years ago | (#40975359)

... when the giant killer butterfly goes on a rampage in Tokyo.

so.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975497)

what really matter is: is the west coast vulnerable to this shit? NYC has the shittest weather ever but at least it's not radioactive. maybe have to put off that move to SF.

Excuse me, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975515)

But I'll have you know that by good authority here that nuclear power is safe and nothing bad ever happens ever and this is merely some sort of alarmist nonsense. Did you ever think the butterflies might like being irradiated? I mean, they could develop superpowers, or change into a really cool color or something!

Fuckin haters. If we would just subsidize the hell out of nuclear like we do oil and biofuels we could build some new reactors that also never ever break down or fail spectacularly just like the ones in Fukushima that totally did not fail catastrophically.

Dumbasses (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975517)

This is forever. It's genetically inherited and it can NEVER be cured. There is no way to know how bad the effects will be (i.e. disease, immunity response, deformities, life span, etc) in the offspring for all generations. And all you can do is make jokes and actually excuse it!! Wow... Is something wrong with your brainwashed, apathetic, sorry excuse for minds? They used to say the same things about cigarettes except this can never be quit, and it effects all these victims' children and their children and on and on... Ya, it's real fucking funny. It's people like you that make this world shit.

Re:Dumbasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976361)

You're so well articulated. I know you've won me over.

Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975561)

I love science. But this is barely news. These creatures eat the sweet surface juices and pollen, and develop at a rate so fantastic it make them a source of childhood wonder. Of course they'll be the first to be affected. A reduced fore-wing size will not unravel the entire food chain, and very importantly: evolution will push back. This species has an enormous population that is unaffected by radiation. If the small wings are an advantage going forward: great. If not, their neighbors will out compete them, and the mutants will die out.

Wake me when they have a stable population of 6 legged dogs.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975769)

Also they overturned / cleaned a lot of soil around the place, so they need something more convincing.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 2 years ago | (#40975803)

I find it newsworthy. And interesting.

These creatures eat the sweet surface juices and pollen, and develop at a rate so fantastic it make them a source of childhood wonder.

That is a good lay explanation of why this is not scientifically unexpected. But that doesn't mean it is unimportant. Most news articles have been focused on the direct human impact of the Fukushima disaster. But it is important for people to understand that even if the environmental impact is not significant to large long-lived mammals, it is significant to smaller beings. Ultimately, we depend on their survival, albeit indirectly.

Either way, this is valuable research. It is a good baseline to compare to in years to come.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#40975997)

But it is important for people to understand that even if the environmental impact is not significant to large long-lived mammals, it is significant to smaller beings

To the contrary, similar exposure will have a larger effect on big, long-lived animals like humans. It's possible that this butterfly has an unusually narrow genetic variation due to specialization or happenstance which means it might show effects of mutation more easily. Say like cheetahs supposedly are less varied than leopards.

Blinky the Three-Eyed Fish (2)

bussdriver (620565) | about 2 years ago | (#40976121)

"Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish"

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (1)

toygeek (473120) | about 2 years ago | (#40976211)

That's not evolution, thats natural selection. Huge difference.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (1)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | about 2 years ago | (#40976509)

That's not evolution, thats natural selection. Huge difference.

Please explain the alleged difference.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (1)

toygeek (473120) | about 2 years ago | (#40976657)

Evolution: One species evolves into another
Natural selection: members of a species with a successful trait thrive over others, becoming dominant within the species. Species itself does not change.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (1)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | about 2 years ago | (#40976773)

Evolution: One species evolves into another

Natural selection: members of a species with a successful trait thrive over others, becoming dominant within the species. Species itself does not change.

1/ the mechanism of evolution IS natural selection.

2/ A successful trait spreading through a population is in fact a change to the species and is evolution.

3/ Species change incrementally from original to successor. Having acquired a single new trait may not do it. Many new traits acquired over time does do it. Like compound interest.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (1)

PatDev (1344467) | about 2 years ago | (#40976659)

Natural selection is the most visible cause, evolution is the effect. There are other causes to evolution, such as mutation and genetic drift (evolution [wikipedia.org] ).

I'm not sure I would say that distinction is "huge". Comment history suggests GP is not just some kind of creationist-troll. Curious what he meant.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 2 years ago | (#40976685)

Perhaps they're saying that the horribly mutated butterflies were already out there and are somehow better able to survive in the radiation. That's the only reasonable understanding I can make of it. Not that it's reasonable in the sense of making sense.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (1)

Moses48 (1849872) | about 2 years ago | (#40976759)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution [wikipedia.org] vs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection [wikipedia.org]
Evolution happens by process of Natural Selection. People that refute human evolution often accept intra-species natural selection, but won't accept natural selection changing a species to a point where it cannot reproduce with a former version. Yet, generally speaking evolution and natural selection are synonymous.

So, no, there is no huge difference.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#40976213)

This would indeed barely news, but that's an indictment of "news," not this finding. It's important. A scientific finding of "here are the problems, they're not catastrophic" is important.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976221)

We got merkins didn't we? Look at the damage they do!

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976359)

I love science. But this is barely news. These creatures eat the sweet surface juices and pollen, and develop at a rate so fantastic it make them a source of childhood wonder. Of course they'll be the first to be affected. A reduced fore-wing size will not unravel the entire food chain, and very importantly: evolution will push back. This species has an enormous population that is unaffected by radiation. If the small wings are an advantage going forward: great. If not, their neighbors will out compete them, and the mutants will die out.

Wake me when they have a stable population of 6 legged dogs.

There are more abnormalities than just the reduced fore-wing size and patterns. If you read further down the article there are mentions of many cases of malformed legs, antennae, eyes and so on 6month after the incident. Underdeveloped or malformed bodyparts, abnormal growths, altered wing shapes..

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | about 2 years ago | (#40976369)

My hypothetical conservative friend says butterflies don't matter, and neither do frogs or furry animals or lower-class humans. When the Job Creators start spawning hideous offspring, then maybe we've got a story here.

Re:Trivial changes to pollen and nectar eaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976687)

Sure, this is barely news. Unless you're a human embryo hoping to one day grow a full set of limbs.

Here's a visual aid for the imagination-impaired: Google image search "thalidomide babies" [tinyurl.com] .

Fukushima has provable teratogenic effects on local organisms, and it is STILL leaking. If you're not concerned you're either a moron or a troll.

Bah...nothing to worry about (0)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#40975651)

I'm sure this is another anti-nuke liberal conspiracy. I bet a bunch of tree huggers mutilated a jar full of butterflies and let them loose. Am I right, guys?

Re:Bah...nothing to worry about (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976433)

Uh . . . Poe's Law [wikipedia.org] . I have a feeling you're trying to be funny, but in the absence of a smiley or similar, I have no way of telling if you're a serious whacko nutcase.

iPhone abnormalities (-1, Offtopic)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 2 years ago | (#40975653)

Since 11 March 2011, there have been a number of abnormalities in they iPhone species. Several new variants have been noted in the wild and some characteristics disappearing altogether. One variant since Fukishima has even been seen with dual nervous systems.

The study concludes that electronics sources have been mutated due to ionizing radiation.

What I Took From This... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975793)

BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA NUCLEAR ENERGY IS EEEEEEEEVIL ONLY WIND AND SOLAR ARE SAFE BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!!!

Also, spend more money on Earth-friendly products and feed the evil greedy corportations who make them as well as the non-friendly products. Celebrate Idiot Profit...I mean, Earth Day!

No it's safe! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40975805)

The government says it's safe, and I believe them! You whacko libertariqans and your anti-gov rhetoric is the true source of evil. The government is just there to help us and protect us!
/end sarcasm

Re:No it's safe! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975975)

radiation is totally overrated, anyone with common sense can see those butterflies are fine. hell, back on the farm we used to catch all kinds of weird critters without no scientists telling us what to think! if the nanny state would get off our backs we could have safe clean private nuclear energy in every town in America but no the big government liberals don't want that! says it's "dangerous", well i say communism is dangerous! vote out obongo in 2012!

Common Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40975869)

Yeah, they'll rave about science in the classroom but when you post a hard science article on Slashdot the same idiots can't come up with anything but comic book memes and flamebaits.
 
I guess if it's not about how to rip of The Man(tm) than it's just a waste of an article here.

Tell me that the butterflies have mutated... (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#40975933)

into meat-eaters [isfdb.org] and I'll worry.

So you say you have mutant problem (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#40976107)

For a price I take care of this, I have perfect auto-shotgun for this job...if you have no money I also accept rare artifacts.

Mutant Butterflies, but why? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#40976165)

A natural disaster causes a lot of pollutants to escape. I didn't read the article, but has the cause been narrowed down to anything particular?

That's not a bug on that butterfly (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#40976263)

It's a feature!

Yes, folks, we now have real bugs with features.

NOT Mutant Butterflies (1)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#40976313)

They're not Mutant Butterflies, they're just discarded packaging from the MSN [iconarchive.com] installer disks from back when they administrated the plant remotely via dialup connection. You know, before the meltdown. They don't use MSN dialup now... that would be silly.

Evolution goes Fast Forward!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976339)

A significant amount of genetic diversity is caused simply from natural mutations caused by radiation. Fukushima has put evolution on fast forward around the nuclear power plant. I can't wait to see what a few generations will produce.

Not to diminish the dangers of high doses of radiation, it should be pointed out that wildlife adapted quite quickly to the radiation levels around Cherenoble and things have returned to mostly normal -- minus people.

Perhaps in a few generations, we will be saying "Howdy" to our new butterfly overlords!

Mutations? (1)

corruptblitz (1486729) | about 2 years ago | (#40976501)

Don't waste your time reading the article. Barely any of the butterflies can shoot lasers from their eyes.

I'm sick of the scaremongering (4, Funny)

he-sk (103163) | about 2 years ago | (#40976599)

It's the butterflies' fault. If they had not stopped with the development of nuclear power 30 years ago, they would not suffer from these "abnormalities". After all, modern reactor designs are intrinsically safe!

Wait. What?!

One of very few studies like it. Very bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976627)

Believe it or not, there are very few comprehensive studies of the effects of nuclear fallout in the wild. This is because the only other comparable disaster was Chernobyl, which the Soviets swept under the rug, and no one so far has had the balls to purposely contaminate a large area 'for science'.

And the effects were bad: many of the pupae in the lab model died. And the (heritable!) abnormalities could seriously compromise an individual: missing legs, non-working eyes.

Certainly the affected population will be out-competed. They are doomed. Evolution works when a relatively small number of individuals mutate in small ways. Those few individuals either survive or don't, and the result is an overall stronger population. But when a large number of individuals undergo a large number of mutations all at once, the entire species could be wiped out.

Because the Fukushima disaster affected a relatively small area of the planet, this evolutionary dead-end butterfly will die off and be replaced in it's niche, with little lasting harm to the ecosystem. But what if a nuclear accident was more widespread?

The problem with radiation-induced mutations is that they happen too fast to too many individuals and the population may not be able to recover. These butterflies are the canary in the coal mine.

the rise of tentacle raep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40976849)

just guessing... if a giant octupus appears

Is it proof, or just an observation? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#40977053)

The presence of abnormalities and the time and location they were observed does not prove they were caused by radiation.

It might be a reasonable conjecture, but it is not proof. When they can prove that these specific abnormalities were definitely caused by radiation that came from the plant (as opposed to natural sources), then we will have cause to be concerned.

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