13 September 2006

Magnetic birds blue-lighted

It seems that most (or all) birds have molecules called cryptochromes which are magnetically sensitive — enabled only by blue light.

This implies that magnetic birds won’t do so well at night, but also prevents them from going (literally) bonkers in caves or other places where the magnetic fields may not be so trustworthy for navigation.

Because cryptochromes have been “strongly conserved” between species, “all biological organisms could have the ability to detect magnetic fields, even if they do not use them”... so, if you see someone tottering about with blue glasses on...

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