As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 2 March 2015

Protein helps birds to navigate via magnetic field

Protein helps birds to navigate via magnetic field
IANS. London | Update: 10:31, Mar 01, 2015

Researchers have found that a magnetically sensitive protein called Cryptochrome that mediates circadian rhythms in plants and animals helps birds to sense the earth’s magnetic field and use it to navigate over long distances. Blue or green light triggers electrons in the protein to produce pairs of radicals whose electron spins respond to magnetic fields.

“As we vary the strength of the magnetic field, we can alter the progress of these photochemical reactions inside the protein,” said Peter Hore, Physicist and lead researcher at University of Oxford.

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