Monday, July 04, 2011

Humans Can See Magnetic Field

A study shows that there is a possibility of a protein called cryptochrome appears on the retina. Proteins are widely found in animals and plants so that some species could use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate.

Electrons in cryptochrome molecules interlinked. Earth's magnetic field causes the electrons are swaying. Chemical reaction in response to rocking of the electron makes the bird can see the field in a colorful maget.

Researchers previously thought lost cryptochrome does not have many advantages for humans so it can not recognize the magnetic field as a bird. Therefore, humans need a benchmark or a GPS device to find directions.

This suspicion is likely to be changed after the neurologist from the University of Massachusetts doing research. They took the cryptochrome from humans and give it to fruit flies that lost the ability to see magnetic fields. The result, as reported by Wired Science, fruit fly again have the ability to see magnetic fields.

Sayangya in humans, the workings of cryptochrome is not like the flies. "We do not know whether the work is the same molecule in the human retina. But that possibility exists," says Steven Reppert, a neurologist from the University of Massachusetts. Today scientists know that cryptochrome in humans serves as a molecular clock, not as a compass.

But the researchers suspect that our ancestors helped by the presence of these proteins to determine the direction. If at any time the researchers managed to restore this capability ... goodbye GPS device.

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