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.