Magnetic-field sensing cells isolated in fish

For the first time, scientists have isolated individual magnetic cells in trout that the fish use to help them navigate back to their hatching ground. This latest discovery may shed light on how other creatures, including humans, are influenced by magnetic fields.

Researcher Michael Winklhofer, from Ludwig Maximilians University (Munich), explained that while the magnetic material magnetite had been found previously in fish and bird tissue, the individual cells that contained the magnetite had, until now, never been isolated. Past efforts to ascertain how changes in magnetic fields were converted into nerve impulses had also drawn a blank. “The field penetrates the whole organism, so such cells could be located almost anywhere, making them hard to identify,” said Winklhofer.

To track down the magnetosensory cells, Winklhofer and his collaborators worked with the olfactory epithelium of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The researchers first used enzymes to dissociate the snout tissue into single cells. The cell suspension was then stimulated with an artificial, rotating magnetic field. This approach enabled the team to identify and collect single magnetoresponsive cells, and characterize their properties in detail. Much to Winklhofer’s surprise, the cells turned out to be more strongly magnetic than previously postulated – a finding that explains the high magnetic sensitivity of the cells.

Winklhofer’s paper, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes how the the cells sense the field by means of micrometer-sized inclusions composed of magnetic crystals, probably made of magnetite. The inclusions are coupled to the cell membrane, which is necessary to change the electrical potential across the membrane when the crystals realign in response to a change in the ambient magnetic field. “This explains why low-frequency magnetic fields generated by powerlines disrupt navigation relative to the geomagnetic field and may induce other physiological effects,” says Winklhofer.

The new findings could lead to advances in the development of highly sensitive magnetometers. In addition, they raise the question of whether some human cells might contain magnetite. “If the answer to the question is yes”, Winklhofer speculates, “intracellular magnetite would provide a physiological substrate that could couple to so-called electrosmog.”

Related:
Discuss this article in our forum
Humans may be able to “see” magnetic fields
Train Drivers On Express Track To Leukemia
Electromagnetic Fields Disrupt Newborns’ Heart Rates
Magnetic field can alter moral judgments

Source: Ludwig Maximilians University

, ,

Comments are closed.

Super Strong N52 Rare Earth Round Neodymium Magnet Disc Thin Tiny Small Large picture

Super Strong N52 Rare Earth Round Neodymium Magnet Disc Thin Tiny Small Large

$245.00



Fishing Magnet Kit Upto 3200 Lbs Pull Force Rope, Carabiner, Threadlocker, Glove picture

Fishing Magnet Kit Upto 3200 Lbs Pull Force Rope, Carabiner, Threadlocker, Glove

$129.99



FISHING MAGNET UPTO 2400 LBS PULL FORCE HEAVY DUTY STRONG NEODYMIUM MAGNET picture

FISHING MAGNET UPTO 2400 LBS PULL FORCE HEAVY DUTY STRONG NEODYMIUM MAGNET

$99.99



Super Strong N35 Round Disc Neodymium Mini Fridge Magnets Rare Earth New picture

Super Strong N35 Round Disc Neodymium Mini Fridge Magnets Rare Earth New

$25.76



50 100 Pcs Magnets Block Cube Rare Earth Neodymium Magnetic N50 N48 N52 ALL Size picture

50 100 Pcs Magnets Block Cube Rare Earth Neodymium Magnetic N50 N48 N52 ALL Size

$11.99



5 Pack Thicker Strong Magnets Countersunk Ring 1 Inch Large Rare Earth Neodymium picture

5 Pack Thicker Strong Magnets Countersunk Ring 1 Inch Large Rare Earth Neodymium

$8.31



Lot 25 50 100 Pcs Round Disc Magnets Rare Earth Neodymium Magnet N50 N48 N52 N42 picture

Lot 25 50 100 Pcs Round Disc Magnets Rare Earth Neodymium Magnet N50 N48 N52 N42

$6.99



2pcs Big Block Magnets Super Strong N52 Neodymium Large Magnet Rare Earth picture

2pcs Big Block Magnets Super Strong N52 Neodymium Large Magnet Rare Earth

$15.34



10 25 50 N52 Strong Neodymium Magnets Rare Earth Lifting Magnets 60x10x3mm picture

10 25 50 N52 Strong Neodymium Magnets Rare Earth Lifting Magnets 60x10x3mm

$55.99



N52 Super Strong Rare Earth Neodymium Magnet Blocks Squares Thin Small Large picture

N52 Super Strong Rare Earth Neodymium Magnet Blocks Squares Thin Small Large

$142.95



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes