Human eye protein senses Earth's magnetism

A light-sensitive protein in the human eye has been shown to act as a "compass" in a magnetic field, when it is present in flies' eyes. The study in Nature Communications showed that without their natural "magnetoreception" protein, the flies did not respond to a magnetic field - but replacing the protein with the human version restored the ability. Despite much controversy, no conclusive evidence exists that humans can sense the Earth's magnetic field, and the find may revive interest in the idea.

2011-06-21

 magnet eye human animal navigation migration protein cryptochrome

Return to the linkmark list.