What is going on with the children of Fukushima?

Mass thyroid screenings of children at risk of cancer from the 2011 meltdown at Fukushima handed Japanese health officials what they most feared finding—lots of abnormalities. And now the program has set off a firestorm of fear and criticism.

Do the positive findings have anything to do with what happened at the nuclear power plant? Or did the abnormalities originate well before the disaster?

Either way, are the aggressive screenings leading to appropriate care protocols—or just causing undue anxiety?

Science doesn’t have all the answers, but it knows what questions to ask: