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  • Toxic molecule may help birds "see" north and south

    Klaus Schulten and colleagues report that a toxic molecule may play a pivotal role in bird migration. The molecule is proposed as a key player in the process that allows birds to "see" Earth's magnetic field. Schulten holds the Swanlund Chair in Physics at the University of Illinois.

    Klaus Schulten and colleagues report that a toxic molecule may play a pivotal role in bird migration. The molecule is proposed as a key player in the process that allows birds to "see" Earth's magnetic field. Schulten holds the Swanlund Chair in Physics at the University of Illinois.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      Klaus Schulten and colleagues report that a toxic molecule may play a pivotal role in bird migration. The molecule is proposed as a key player in the process that allows birds to "see" Earth's magnetic field. Schulten holds the Swanlund Chair in Physics at the University of Illinois.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      Changes in the electromagnetic field, such as those experienced by a bird changing direction in flight, appear to alter a biochemical compass in the eye, allowing the bird to see how its direction corresponds to north or south.

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