A New Type of Radical-Pair-Based Model for Magnetoreception

A. Marshall Stoneham, Erik M. Gauger, Kyriakos Porfyrakis, Simon C. Benjamin, Brendon W. Lovett

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

Certain migratory birds can sense the Earth's magnetic field. The nature of this process is not yet properly understood. Hereweoffer a simple explanation according to which birds literally see the local magnetic field through the impact of a physical rather than a chemical signature of the radical pair: a transient, long-lived electric dipole moment. Based on this premise, our picture can explain recent surprising experimental data indicating long lifetimes for the radical pair. Moreover, there is a clear evolutionary path toward this field-sensing mechanism: it is an enhancement of a weak effect that may be present in many species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume102
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2012

Cite this

Stoneham, A. M., Gauger, E. M., Porfyrakis, K., Benjamin, S. C., & Lovett, B. W. (2012). A New Type of Radical-Pair-Based Model for Magnetoreception. Biophysical Journal, 102(5), 961-968. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2012.01.007
Stoneham, A. Marshall ; Gauger, Erik M. ; Porfyrakis, Kyriakos ; Benjamin, Simon C. ; Lovett, Brendon W. / A New Type of Radical-Pair-Based Model for Magnetoreception. In: Biophysical Journal. 2012 ; Vol. 102, No. 5. pp. 961-968.
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Stoneham, AM, Gauger, EM, Porfyrakis, K, Benjamin, SC & Lovett, BW 2012, 'A New Type of Radical-Pair-Based Model for Magnetoreception', Biophysical Journal, vol. 102, no. 5, pp. 961-968. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2012.01.007

A New Type of Radical-Pair-Based Model for Magnetoreception. / Stoneham, A. Marshall; Gauger, Erik M.; Porfyrakis, Kyriakos; Benjamin, Simon C.; Lovett, Brendon W.

In: Biophysical Journal, Vol. 102, No. 5, 07.03.2012, p. 961-968.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

TY - JOUR

T1 - A New Type of Radical-Pair-Based Model for Magnetoreception

AU - Stoneham, A. Marshall

AU - Gauger, Erik M.

AU - Porfyrakis, Kyriakos

AU - Benjamin, Simon C.

AU - Lovett, Brendon W.

PY - 2012/3/7

Y1 - 2012/3/7

N2 - Certain migratory birds can sense the Earth's magnetic field. The nature of this process is not yet properly understood. Hereweoffer a simple explanation according to which birds literally see the local magnetic field through the impact of a physical rather than a chemical signature of the radical pair: a transient, long-lived electric dipole moment. Based on this premise, our picture can explain recent surprising experimental data indicating long lifetimes for the radical pair. Moreover, there is a clear evolutionary path toward this field-sensing mechanism: it is an enhancement of a weak effect that may be present in many species.

AB - Certain migratory birds can sense the Earth's magnetic field. The nature of this process is not yet properly understood. Hereweoffer a simple explanation according to which birds literally see the local magnetic field through the impact of a physical rather than a chemical signature of the radical pair: a transient, long-lived electric dipole moment. Based on this premise, our picture can explain recent surprising experimental data indicating long lifetimes for the radical pair. Moreover, there is a clear evolutionary path toward this field-sensing mechanism: it is an enhancement of a weak effect that may be present in many species.

U2 - 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.01.007

DO - 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.01.007

M3 - Comment/debate

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EP - 968

JO - Biophysical Journal

JF - Biophysical Journal

SN - 0006-3495

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Stoneham AM, Gauger EM, Porfyrakis K, Benjamin SC, Lovett BW. A New Type of Radical-Pair-Based Model for Magnetoreception. Biophysical Journal. 2012 Mar 7;102(5):961-968. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2012.01.007