Chernobyl Bird Brains 5% Smaller Residual radiation still hurting By Mary Papenfuss, Newser User Posted Feb 11, 2011 5:14 AM CST 8 comments Comments A titmouse observes the sky. (?nosha) (Newser) – Scientists have discovered some disturbing new about the still-lingering effects of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster: Birds born in the radiated region have brains 5% smaller than normal. "Even exposure to relatively low levels" of radiation 25 years after the accident "can have profound effects on the species that live in this area," said University of South Carolina researcher Timothy Mousseau. Residual radiation is likely still affecting humans as well, Mousseau tells the New York Daily News. (Click to see eerie photos of Chernobyl today).