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Old 07-01-2009, 05:01 PM   #1
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Default Bird Migration: Toxic Molecule May Help Birds 'See' North And South

Bird Migration: Toxic Molecule May Help Birds 'See' North And South
ScienceDaily (June 23, 2009) Researchers at the University of Illinois report that a toxic molecule known to damage cells and cause disease may also play a pivotal role in bird migration. The molecule, superoxide, is proposed as a key player in the mysterious process that allows birds to "see" Earth's magnetic field.

Bird Migration: Toxic Molecule May Help Birds 'See' North And South
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Cryptochrome is a blue-light photoreceptor found in plants and in the eyes of birds and other animals. Schulten was the first to propose (in 2000) that this protein was a key component of birds' geomagnetic sense, a proposal that was later corroborated by experimental evidence. He made this prediction after he and his colleagues discovered that magnetic fields can influence chemical reactions if the reactions occur quickly enough to be governed by pure quantum mechanics.
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Changes in the electromagnetic field, such as those experienced by a bird changing direction in flight, appear to alter this biochemical compass in the eye, allowing the bird to see how its direction corresponds to north or south.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:59 AM   #2
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Interesting.
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biochemical compass, bird, bird migration, bird navigation, birds, electromagnetic field, magnetic field, migration, molecule, naviagation, north, quantum mechanics, south, toxic, toxic molecule

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