27 November 2015

A natural compass

Chinese scientists say that they have found a biological compass needle — a rod-shaped complex of proteins that can align with Earth’s weak magnetic field — in the cells of fruit flies. 
The biocompass — whose constituent proteins exist in related forms in other species — could explain a long-standing puzzle: how animals such as birds and insects sense magnetism.
Image: Qin et al. Nature Mater. (2015)

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