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Special Molecule Gives Birds a Magnetic Biocompass 276

Aaron Rowe writes "CORDIS news reports that a team of scientists has identified a family of molecules called cryptochromes that allow migratory birds to sense magnetic fields. Curiously enough, these molecules only function when accompanied by blue light. The article also mentions, 'The researchers also suggest that, as cryptochromes have been strongly conserved throughout evolution, all biological organisms could have the ability to detect magnetic fields, even if they do not use them.'"

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