Searching for the pigeon's inner compass

Updated: Jan 16

by Simon Nimpf

Birds use the earth's magnetic field to help them navigate - but how do they do this on a cellular and molecular level? In this video abstract, Simon Nimpf describes his recent publication in the journal eLife, in which he and colleagues investigate the development of a small structure called the cuticulosome, which is located inside cells within the inner ear of pigeons. The cuticulosome may serve as the pigeon's inner compass! Watch Simon's video to learn more.

Simon is a Vienna Biocenter PhD student in the lab of David Keays at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria. The drawings in the video were done by co-author Greg Nordmann, who is also a PhD student in the Keays lab.

Related resources

Read the full paper in eLife

Article in the Economist on magnetoreception, the sensing of magnetic fields by organisms

Scientific review on magnetoreception

• Scientific article describing the discovery of the cuticulosome

#cell #development