Environment

Researchers find biological compass of organisms

Researchers find biological compass of organisms

Researchers find biological compass of organisms

How the fruit flies get back to their homes after travelling long distances? This question has actually kept scientists occupied for a very long time. Now there are signs that this mystery may be close to being solved.

There are reasons that the fruit flies have capabilities to sense the Earth’s magnetic field. This is something that had been discussed on many occasions in the past, nonetheless it was always ridiculed.

To be true, after denying the theory for a long time now it has been proved that it is the case, at least for some animals. The biological basis of such abilities, however, still remains unclear.

fruit flyA latest research suggests that scientists have actually found small magnetic protein biocompasses in fruit flies. This finally caps the discussion. Researchers associated with Peking University have said that they have found small magnetic protein biocompasses in fruit flies which, according to these scientists, are responsible for some animals’ sense of direction.

A couple of centuries ago, pigeons were used to send important communications and letters to far off places. Now we have scientific evidence that these pigeons were guided to their destinations and back with the help of magnetic biocompasses. Scientists at Peeking University have also said that these magnetic biocompasses have also been found in retinal cells in pigeons’ eyes besides of course in monarch butterflies, rats, minke whales, and humans cells.

While talking about the study and the subsequent findings, lead author professor Cam Xie says, “The nanoscale biocompass has the tendency to align itself along geomagnetic field lines and to obtain navigation cues from a geomagnetic field”. The scientists are of the opinion that it is possible that “any disturbance in this alignment” is captured by connected cellular machinery, which then provides “information to the downstream neural system, forming the animal’s magnetic sense”. The findings have been published in the journal Nature Materials.

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