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Image: Andrew Howe (robin) and Karl Harrison (molecule and equations)
Unlike humans, migratory birds don’t have GPS systems so how do millions of them manage to fly thousands of miles every year without getting lost? Birds have a magnetic compass that allows them to detect the Earth’s magnetic field, but no one know how it works. At March Meeting 2015 Peter Hore will present evidence for the idea that Nature has provided birds and possibly other animals with a sensitive compass based on the quantum mechanical properties of electron spins contained in biological molecules known as cryptochromes.