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SSS 2011-06-23

时间:2011-07-06 01:59来源:互联网 提供网友:gmeng   字体: [ ]
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    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata. Got a minute?

Birds and sea turtles can migrate thousands of miles, by reading the Earth's magnetic cues. But we too might have magnetic sensing abilities—in our eyes. So says a study in the journal Nature Communications.

Previous studies suggest long-distance migrators—and even fruit flies—pick up magnetic fields with the help of a light-sensitive protein called "cryptochrome." We produce cryptochrome too—without it, our circadian clocks would break. Human cryptochrome doesn't require light to function, though—and it doesn't seem to give us a phenomenal sensitivity to magnetic fields. But can it do more than keep the circadian clock ticking?

To find out, researchers took out fruit flies' usual cryptochrome gene1 and inserted the human version. And the transgenic flies had no problem navigating2 a magnetic maze3 when exposed to light—indicating the human protein can still serve as a light-sensitive magnetic sensor4.

We happen to have a lot of cryptochrome in our retinas—ideally situated5 to receive light. Which suggests we might be able to see magnetic fields in some way. On the other hand, evolution might have just given cryptochrome a new job in new organisms. So don't throw away your GPS.

Thanks for the minute. For Scientific American's 60-Second Science, I'm Christopher Intagliata.


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1 gene WgKxx     
n.遗传因子,基因
参考例句:
  • A single gene may have many effects.单一基因可能具有很多种效应。
  • The targeting of gene therapy has been paid close attention.其中基因治疗的靶向性是值得密切关注的问题之一。
2 navigating 7b03ffaa93948a9ae00f8802b1000da5     
v.给(船舶、飞机等)引航,导航( navigate的现在分词 );(从海上、空中等)横越;横渡;飞跃
参考例句:
  • These can also be very useful when navigating time-based documents, such as video and audio. 它对于和时间有关的文档非常有用,比如视频和音频文档。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
  • Vehicles slowed to a crawl on city roads, navigating slushy snow. 汽车在市区路上行驶缓慢,穿越泥泞的雪地。 来自互联网
3 maze F76ze     
n.迷宫,八阵图,混乱,迷惑
参考例句:
  • He found his way through the complex maze of corridors.他穿过了迷宮一样的走廊。
  • She was lost in the maze for several hours.一连几小时,她的头脑处于一片糊涂状态。
4 sensor sz7we     
n.传感器,探测设备,感觉器(官)
参考例句:
  • The temperature sensor is enclosed in a protective well.温度传感器密封在保护套管中。
  • He plugged the sensor into a outlet.他把传感器插进电源插座。
5 situated JiYzBH     
adj.坐落在...的,处于某种境地的
参考例句:
  • The village is situated at the margin of a forest.村子位于森林的边缘。
  • She is awkwardly situated.她的处境困难。
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