I, for one, welcome our new race of atomic supermen

'Mutant' children are best

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster has spawned a generation of "mutant" super-brainy children. Kids growing up in areas damaged by radiation from the plant have a higher IQ and faster reaction times, say Russian doctors. They are also growing faster and have stronger immune systems.

Radiation from the Ukrainian Chernobyl plant swept the globe and affected more than seven million people.

Professor Vladimir Mikhalev from Bryansk State University, has tracked the health of youngsters growing up in areas hit by the fallout since the 1986 accident. He compared their mental agility and health to those in unaffected areas and found they came out top in tests.

The kids had been exposed to radiation in the atmosphere and their food supply.

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60 Responses:

  1. Are they sure these aren't just Rainbow Children?

    Have to keep our various super-mutant kids breeds straight, you know...

  2. Maybe because all the kids with weaker immunity to radiation died? I don't know, is that implausable?

    Let's hear it for unnatural selection.

  3. fantasygoat says:

    As if Ukrainians don't already have an over-inflated sense of self-worth. The ones at work are insufferable.

  4. giles says:

    Well, that settles it. If I have a kid, I'm tossing out all the Mozart CD's and edutainment toys to make room for five or six microwave ovens in the nursery. Will that be enough, or do I need to rig them to run with the doors open?

  5. ilovezombies says:

    Interesting...since I grew up 15 minutes from Trinity site!

  6. treptoplax says:

    Apparently Taiwan has a bad habit of, you know, accidentally building apartment buildings with radioactive rebars and that sort of thing. Studies appear to indicate that those so exposed to chronic, low-level radiation may in fact be healthier than normal:

    one paper

    Googling gives lots of similar small and individually unconvincing studies. YMMV, void where prohibited.

  7. flaterik says:

    if cell phones produced ionizing radiation, we'd all be GENIUSES.

  8. deeptape says:

    Russian mutant children? Bring on the X-Men!

  9. batmoon says:

    I just can't wait till people try to intentionally expose themselves to radiation. Hello, Darwin Award.

    After all, we were only hoping to help the Japanese by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  10. vimsig says:

    Oh dem Midwych Cuckoos

  11. Dang. When I saw the link text I made a bet with myself that the url would be ananova. I lose!

  12. injector says:

    I've seen some articles that say that the graph for damage caused by radiation is not linear from normal-background to insta-death. But that is how regulatory agencies paint it. They want us to believe that any amount of radiation over "normal" is harmful. But what these studies are showing is that people continually exposed to slightly higher than background levels of radiation are actually healthier. So the graph is actually J shaped, with the bottom of the curve hanging around 1/10 of a dental x-ray a day. With about double that amount coming up the backside of the curve to be equal to the level that most people on Earth receive. So we should all be taking radiation tablets with our food to guarantee the proper dosage every day.

    • jwz says:

      J. Frank Parnell: Ever been to Utah? Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it's bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too. When they canceled the project it almost did me in. One day my mind was full to bursting. The next day - nothing. Swept away. But I'll show them. I had a lobotomy in the end.
      Otto: Lobotomy? Isn't that for loonies?
      Parnell: Not at all. Friend of mine had one. Designer of the neutron bomb. You ever hear of the neutron bomb? Destroys people - leaves buildings standing. Fits in a suitcase. It's so small, no one knows it's there until - BLAMMO. Eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dead. So immoral, working on the thing can drive you mad. That's what happened to this friend of mine. So he had a lobotomy. Now he's well again.

    • You know, I could almost believe that someone in the 50s tried marketing this.


    • jkonrath says:

      If that were true, the upper 1% of the population would all coincidentally live in brick houses, or maybe fly cross-country a lot.

    • glenra says:

      A great many things that are poisonous in large doses are healthful, even necessary, in small doses. Small amounts of radiation might stimulate the immune system or have some other positive effect. People who live in Colorado get more radiation than people who live in the plains states, but aren't notably less healthy.

      So even if this particular story is a hoax - which seems likely - it's not implausible that there could be a /small/ net positive effect.

  13. pavel_lishin says:

    Maybe that's why I'm smart! My friend of equal age was growing up in Germany around that time, and said his parents wouldn't let him play in the rain after the accident.

    I, however, never recall my parents telling me not to go outside. As a matter of fact, they encouraged it...

    • mcfnord says:

      i ate iodine tablets or something, as my father explained an iodine deficiency would be satisified from the atmosphere's radioactive form. It seems like a long distance for any human catastrophe to travel.

  14. jesus_x says:

    I liked Villiage of the Damned. The white-hair/glowing-eyes thing is hot.

  15. webwench says:

    ... it must be true!

    But, can they reproduce?

  16. valacosa says:

    Mayor West: If nuclear refuse gave them super powers, it can do the same for me. Citizens, I'm off to the toxic waste dump!
    Doctor: Mayor west, you have Lymphoma.
    West: oh my...
    Doctor: Probably from roling around in that toxic waste.
    West: I see...
    Doctor: What in God's name were you trying to prove!?
    West: I was trying to gain super powers.
    Doctor: Well, that's just silly!
    West: Silly, yes. Idiotic, yes.

  17. davidmccabe says:

    You realize that this is a haux, right? I googled and found only two references to this, both on tabloids which also run articles about UFOs and such. Also, Professor Vladimir Mikhalev does economics at Oxford, not medicine in Russia.

    Go buy his book.

  18. patrick says:

    God hates me because I wasn't born near a nuclear disaster! It's just not fair!

  19. irma_vep says:

    Damm ! I wish I had been near some of the nuclear test sites when I was a toddler.