Unfortunately, we still can't see dead people. Darn! LOLz!
New research by the University of Massachusetts Medical School suggests humans may have an internal compass that can navigate them from one place to another!
By studying the monarch butterfly’s ability to use the earth's magnetic field to navigate in the absence of light, thanks to something called cryptochrome genes, researchers determined humans may have the same capabilities!
One of the monarch’s two cryptochrome genes — light-sensitive proteins that help regulate the daily rhythm of the body’s cells — is similar in its DNA sequence to the human cryptochrome gene.
The human cryptochrome gene is highly active in the eye, which raises the possibility that the earth's magnetic field can actually be seen (in some sense), providing the cryptochromes interact with the retina.
The discovery has prompted study authors to believe "a reassessment of human magnetosensitivity may be in order."
Other animals including butterflies, birds, and foxes use this internal navigation system, leaving scientists to ponder why we may have lost our ability to take advantage of this "sixth sense".
John B. Phillips of Virginia Tech, who proposed a similar idea last year, has hypothesized:
“It may be that our electromagnetic world is interfering with our ability to do this kind of stuff."
Researchers say the next step is understanding how the cryptochrome proteins sense the magnetic field and how they convey that information to the monarch butterfly's brain.
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: brain, butterflies, foxes, internal navigation system, magnetic field, research, researchers, study