The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass bluebutterfly

 

Massive amount of radioactive materials were released from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant(NPP) to environment due to the Great East Japan Earthquake
1–6
. However, precise information on exactly what occurred and on what is still ongoing is yet to be established
7,8
. This lack of information raises serious concerns about biological influences on living organisms that could ultimately produce long-term destruction of ecosystems and cause chronic diseases. Prompt and reliable evaluation of the biological influences of the artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP is lacking, and only a few studies have been performed to date
9,10
. In the case of the Chernobyl accident, changes in species composition and phenotypic ration in animals
11–17
and an increase in the incidence of thyroid and lymph cancers in humans
18
have been reported. Similarly, an increase in the incidence of cancers has been reported for atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan
19
. However, the effects of low-dose radiation exposure on animals, including humans, are still a matter of debate
20–22
despite the relatively rigorous documentation of physiological damage to animals from external high-dose radiation exposure. Moreover, one of the greatest concerns is the possible inheritance of the adverse effects of exposure by the offspring of the exposed individuals. However, experimental demonstration of genetic mutations in the germ-line cells that are inherited by the offspring of radiation-exposed parents has been scarce, although the germ-line damage was shown in barn swallows
23

 

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