Low level radiation affects later generations – butterfly research shows

When second generation butterflies with abnormal traits mated with healthy ones, the rate of abnormalities rose to 34 percent in the third generation

It was after breeding them, they  noticed various abnormalities that hadn’t been seen in the previous generation, such as malformed antennae.

Radiation from Fukushima power plant meltdown ‘triggers genetic mutations in butterflies’
Abnormal wings and antennae found in Japan’s insects Genetic damage ‘can be passed down generations’ Defect rate as high as 52 per cent in some offspring
  DAILY MAIL, 14 August 2012 Butterflies in Japan are suffering from ‘serious abnormality’ following the radioactive fallout after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Scientists found unusually small wings and mutations in the legs and
antennae of insects collected in May last year, two months after the
earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck.
The radiation exposure harmed their genes and the damage could be
passed on to future generations, according the journal Scientific
Reports.
It said that ‘artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima (No 1)
nuclear power plant caused physiological and genetic damage’ to pale
grass blue butterflies, a common species in Japan.
‘Sensitivity (to irradiation) varies between species, so research
should be conducted on other animals,’ said Joji Otaki, a team member
and associate professor at the University of the Ryukyus in
Okinawa….. Abnormalities such as unusually small wings were found in
12 per cent of the total. But the rate rose to 18 per cent in a second
generation produced through mating among the butterflies collected and
some even died before reaching adulthood.
When second generation butterflies with abnormal traits mated with healthy ones, the rate of abnormalities rose to 34 percent in the third generation, according to the article.
The team collected another 238 butterflies last September and
determined that the abnormality rate stood at 28 per cent.

‘To blame’: The researchers collected 121 butterflies in and outside
Fukushima Prefecture two months after the power plant meltdown (above)
in March last year
However, it nearly doubled to 52 per cent among a second generation
born to the original butterflies caught.
It was after breeding them, they  noticed various abnormalities that hadn’t been seen in the previous generation, such as malformed antennae.
The researchers said the butterflies collected in May were heavily
exposed to radiation as larvae.
The impact was apparently more severe on the second generation, as
well as on the butterflies collected in September, because they
suffered heavy exposure at a far earlier stage while they were still
fertilized eggs or just reproduction cells, according to the team.
The impact of artificial radiation exposure on the species was also
investigated using larvae collected in Okinawa, one of the prefectures
least affected by fallout from the nuclear disaster.
After the larvae were exposed to radiation and fed with leaves
contaminated with radioactive materials, similar rates of
abnormalities and premature deaths were observed, the article said.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2188017/Radiation-Fukushima-nuclear-power-plant-meltdown-triggers-genetic-mutations-butterflies.html#ixzz23aW0fvEU

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