Humans May Have ’Magnetic’ Sixth Sense
By Jeanna Bryner | LiveScience.com
Humans may have a sixth sense after all, suggests a new study finding that a protein in the human retina, when placed into fruit flies, has the ability to detect magnetic fields.
The researchers caution that the results suggest this human protein has the capability to work as a magnetosensor; however, whether or not humans use it in that way is not known.
"It poses the question, ’maybe we should rethink about this sixth sense,’" Steven Reppert, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, told LiveScience. "It is thought to be very important for how animals migrate. Perhaps this protein is also fulfilling an important function for sensing magnetic fields in humans."
Past research has suggested that in addition to helping animals such as sea turtles and migratory birds navigate, the ability to detect magnetic fields could help with visual spatial perception. Reppert said to picture a magnetic-field coordinate system overlaid on objects we view.
"It may aid how animals perceive how objects are in time and space in a way we haven’t thought about before," said Reppert, who is a neurobiologist.
Animals’ magnetic sense is thought to rely on special proteins called cryptochromes, which are also found in the human retina. While past behavioral research has suggested humans can’t sense magnetic fields, with studies showing such a capability remaining controversial, there is evidence that geomagnetism affects the light system in our eyes.
To see if humans perhaps possessed this other sense, Reppert and his colleagues tested wild fruit flies, with their cryptochromes intact, and those that had their own cryptochromes replaced with the human version of the protein.
They placed the fruit flies into a T-shaped maze, with each arm equipped with a coil wrapped in such a way that when a current was sent through it, the coil became magnetized. The team varied which side was magnetized and its strength, which went up to eight times that of Earth’s magnetic field.
The flies with the human cryptochromes showed sensitivity to the magnetic fields — either avoiding them as they might naturally do if not acclimated to the magnetism, or showing a preference for the magnetized arm of the maze when trained with sugar rewards to go toward the magnetic field.
The human protein only worked in the blue range of light, the researchers found.
The research is detailed in the June 21 issue of the journal Nature Communications.
Article from: livescience.com
The Extrasensory perception of plants (Video)
Solar Storms Sparked By Giant ’Magnetic Rope,’ Study Finds
NASA Voyager Discover Magnetic ’Bubbles’ At Solar System’s Edge
Flamingos Drop From Siberian Sky: Locals Mystified (Magnetic Fields Reversing?)
Famed Magnetic Boy Is Probably Just Very Sticky
Foxes see Earth’s magnetic field and use it to target prey
Birds use quantum theory to literally ’see’ Earth’s magnetic field as they fly
Navy test fires electromagnetic cannon
Huge Magnetic Plasma ’Snake’ Spotted On the Sun
Protrude, Flow: Magnetic Sculpture (Video)
Mercury faces huge magnetic storms
Latest News from our Front Page
Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North.
The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night.
A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked.
The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough.
Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield.
Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants
Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July.
The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are.
London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race.
Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event.
|More News » |