It has long been known as ESP, Spider Sense, or the ability to see things before they happen.
But now scientists have proved that humans really do have a sixth sense - that lets them detect magnetic fields.
Tests have shown that mankind may have the same innate sense of Earth’s magnetic field that has long been proved to exist in animals.
By putting a protein from the human retina into fruit flies, researchers noticed that the insect modified its flight path just as if its eye had not been altered.
This suggests that the 'sixth sense' does exist in humans but we might not be aware of it.
Animals use such sight to navigate long distances during migration or, in the case of birds, to ‘see’ where they are going.
The complex tests involved examining the process by which light goes through a bird’s eye, which has intrigued the scientific community for more than 30 years.
In the late 1970s, the physicist Klaus Schulten concluded that birds navigate by relying on geomagnetically sensitive biochemical reactions in their eyes.
Tests have shown that the special cells in the eye carry out this function using the protein cryptochrome.
Professor Reppert’s team used wild fruit flies and replaced their version of cryptochrome with the human equivalent then put them in a maze with each wing wrapped in a metal coil.
They then sent a current through it so that the coil was magnetised in a way which mimicked Earth’s electromagnetic field.
The flies responded in exactly the same way as if they had their own cryptochrome, by either avoiding the magnetic fields or moving towards them if the researchers had placed sugar nearby.
The new study was published in the journal Nature Communications.
2011-06-26 21:55 编辑：kuaileyingyu