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Anthony Sullivan 2019-03-19
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The ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field—a trait known as magnetoreception—is well documented among many animals, but researchers have struggled to show that humans are also capable of the feat.

These pioneering efforts produced results that were either inconclusive or unreproducible, so scientists largely gave up, figuring magnetoreception is something outside the human realm.

In the years that followed, work on animals increasingly pointed to magnetoreception as the result of complex neurological processing—a possibility that motivated Caltech geophysicist Joseph Kirschvink and neuroscientist Shin Shimojo to revisit the issue.

“Our approach was to focus on brainwave activity alone,” Kirschvink told Gizmodo.

The brain must first perceive something in order to act on it—there is no such thing as ‘extra-sensory perception.’ What we have shown is this is a proper sensory system in humans, just like it is in many animals.”

To test whether the human brain is capable of magnetoreception, and to do so in a reliable, believable manner, Kirschvink and Shimojo set up a rather elaborate experiment involving a chamber specially designed to filter out any extraneous interference that might influence the results.

collect
0
Evelyn Fowler 2021-01-05
(University of Tokyo) New research shows how X-Men villain Magneto's super powers could really work. Researchers in Japan have made the first observations of biological magnetoreception - live, unaltered cells responding to a magnetic field in real time. This discovery is a crucial step in understanding how animals from birds to butterflies navigate using Earth's magnetic field and addressing the question of whether weak electromagnetic fields in our environment might affect human health.
collect
0
Charlie Warren 2019-03-19
img

For some creatures, the magnetic field that hugs our planet serves as a compass for navigation or orientation.

Migratory birds, sea turtles and certain types of bacteria are counted among the species with this built-in navigation system.

According to a new study, humans can also sense Earth's magnetic field.

The new study, published today (March 18) in the journal eNeuro, provides the first direct evidence, from brain scans, that humans can do so, likely through magnetic particles scattered around the brain.

The ability to detect the magnetic field, called magnetoreception, was first suggested to exist in humans back in the 1980s.

But subsequent studies of the brain, from the 1990s, didn't find evidence of the ability.

collect
0
Bob Sun 2019-03-18
img

Researchers with the University of Tokyo and Caltech have found evidence that humans may have the ability to sense magnetic fields.

Many animals are known to possess magnetoreception, including birds and bees, but questions have remained over whether humans have the same ability.

A newly published study potentially has the answer, detailing brain wave changes observed in isolated participants.

Though past research had attempted to answer questions over the (potential) human ability to sense magnetic fields, none of the studies were effective.

The latest study is different, finding evidence that humans may, at the subconscious level, pick up on magnetic fields.

The research involved 34 people who were placed within an isolated radio frequency-shielded chamber in complete darkness and silence.

collect
0
Elizabeth Tinnin 2019-03-18
img

New research suggests humans have a hidden ancient superpower -- or at least an unconscious sensory perception that we've yet to figure out how to use.

A number of animals, including migratory birds and sea turtles, have a geomagnetic sense that allows them navigate by tuning into the Earth's magnetic field.

"Aristotle described the five basic senses as including vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch," explained Caltech geoscientist Joseph Kirschvink, in a release.

"However, he did not consider gravity, temperature, pain, balance and several other internal stimuli ... geomagnetic field sensors should also be there representing not the sixth sense but perhaps the 10th or 11th human sense to be discovered."

Kirschvink and his colleagues built a special chamber designed to be isolated from radio frequencies, sounds, light and all other potential sensory stimuli.

Participants in the experiment sat in silence in the dark for an hour while researchers measured their brain waves as the artificial magnetic field around the chamber was shifted.

collect
0
Sean Biro 2018-04-07
img

Birds can fly, sing, and, er, detect the Earth’s magnetic field behind their eyes, according to a recent paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Eggheads have long suggested birds use some sort of internal compass to sense the Earth’s magnetic field, as they navigate their way on long migrations, often flying thousands of miles.

Now egg-sperts at Lund University, Sweden, have found some evidence that that may be true.

It boils down to a group of proteins nicknamed Cry4 that were found in the eyes of zebra finches.

The proteins called cryptochromes are mostly known for controlling the biological circadian rhythm or body clock, but it has also been linked to magnetoreception – a mysterious ability some organisms have that allow them to feel a magnetic field.

Atticus Pinzón-Rodríguez, coauthor of the paper and a postgraduate student at Lund University, said: "Cry4 is an ideal magnetoreceptor as the level of the protein in the eyes is constant.

collect
0
George Patterson 2016-06-27
img

Credit shutterstock

A US scientist has claimed to have found evidence of a "sixth sense" in humans that can detect the Earth's magnetic fields.

Joe Kirschvink, from the California Institute of Technology, says his experiment can also be "repeated and verified", something research on magnetoreception has never been able to do before.

The trial, which involved just 24 people and has not yet been peer reviewed, builds on a 2016 study that suggested other mammals, including dogs, foxes and primates have "magnetic sensors" in their eyes.

This previous research, undertaken by the Max Planck Institute and published in Nature Scientific Reports, found animals including "dogs, wolves, bears, foxes, badgers, orangutans and macaques" have the field-sensing molecule cryptochrome 1a present in their retinas.

For Kirschvink's study, participants were asked to sit in the pitch black in a Faraday cage, a structure that screens out "electromagnetic background noise' with wire coils.

When the magnetic field was "rotating counterclockwise...there was a drop in alpha waves", suggesting participants' brains were firing "in response to the magnetic field".

collect
0
Cornelius Jones 2017-01-06
img

Liviu Babitz opens his collar to reveal a small silicone gadget, the size of a matchbox, attached to his chest with two titanium bars that sit just under the skin.

Most resembling a compact bike light, the North Sense that Babitz has attached is an artificial sense organ that delivers a short vibration every time the user faces North.

Babitz and Scott Cohen, co-founder at Cyborg Nest, the company that created North Sense, are currently the only two using the product, which will soon be shipped out to clients who have pre-ordered it over the last few months.

As we walk down the street there s radiation, X-rays, infrared and ultraviolet, as well as the electromagnetic field of the planet.

So we want to create new senses to become aware of our environment.

Two of their other co-founders, Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas, have both already installed superhuman senses – Harbisson, who is colourblind, has an eyeborg that allows him to hear the light spectrum including infrared and ultraviolet , while Ribas has a sensor in her elbow that vibrates when an earthquake occurs anywhere in the world.

collect
0
Raymond Maxwell 2018-07-02
img

The headlines are currently dominated by reports on progress towards building quantum computers that outperform their classical counterparts at specific computational tasks.

The benchmark where a 'quantum advantage' is expected to emerge is at 50 or so qubits, and that goal is coming into sight.

Pursuing a different route, a team including ETH physicists Andrey Lebedev and Gianni Blatter, together with colleagues in Finland and Russia, highlight another branch of technology where quantum devices promise unique benefits, and that with considerably more modest hardware resources.

Writing in the journal npj Quantum Information, the team presents experiments in which they used a single qubit to measure magnetic fields with high sensitivity, employing 'quantum trickery' to push the limits.

In their work, the team used a qubit based on a superconducting circuit.

The so-called transmon qubit is currently one of the leading candidates for a building block of large-scale quantum computers, not least as it offers numerous freedoms for engineering the circuits in ways that suit the problem at hand.

collect
0
Qi Cao 2016-05-31
img

A huge variety of animals seem capable of reading Earth’s geomagnetic field.

Every three years, the Royal Institute of Navigation organizes a conference focussed solely on animals.

This April, the event was held southwest of London, at Royal Holloway College, whose ornate Victorian-era campus has appeared in “Downton Abbey.” For several days, the world’s foremost animal-navigation researchers presented their data and findings in a small amphitheatre.

And odysseys of this sort are not limited to the feathered tribes.

Instead, Wiltschko discovered that if he put the robins in cages equipped with a Helmholtz coil—a device for creating a uniform magnetic field—the birds would change their orientation when he switched the direction of north.

So do dogs when they crouch to relieve themselves, and horses, cattle, and deer when they graze—except if they are under high-voltage power lines, which have a disruptive influence.

collect
0
David Harrison 2016-05-28

A huge variety of animals seem capable of reading Earth s geomagnetic field.

Every three years, the Royal Institute of Navigation organizes a conference focussed solely on animals.

This April, the event was held southwest of London, at Royal Holloway College, whose ornate Victorian-era campus has appeared in Downton Abbey.

And odysseys of this sort are not limited to the feathered tribes.

Instead, Wiltschko discovered that if he put the robins in cages equipped with a Helmholtz coil—a device for creating a uniform magnetic field—the birds would change their orientation when he switched the direction of north.

So do dogs when they crouch to relieve themselves, and horses, cattle, and deer when they graze—except if they are under high-voltage power lines, which have a disruptive influence.

collect
0
Anthony Sullivan 2019-03-19
img

The ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field—a trait known as magnetoreception—is well documented among many animals, but researchers have struggled to show that humans are also capable of the feat.

These pioneering efforts produced results that were either inconclusive or unreproducible, so scientists largely gave up, figuring magnetoreception is something outside the human realm.

In the years that followed, work on animals increasingly pointed to magnetoreception as the result of complex neurological processing—a possibility that motivated Caltech geophysicist Joseph Kirschvink and neuroscientist Shin Shimojo to revisit the issue.

“Our approach was to focus on brainwave activity alone,” Kirschvink told Gizmodo.

The brain must first perceive something in order to act on it—there is no such thing as ‘extra-sensory perception.’ What we have shown is this is a proper sensory system in humans, just like it is in many animals.”

To test whether the human brain is capable of magnetoreception, and to do so in a reliable, believable manner, Kirschvink and Shimojo set up a rather elaborate experiment involving a chamber specially designed to filter out any extraneous interference that might influence the results.

Charlie Warren 2019-03-19
img

For some creatures, the magnetic field that hugs our planet serves as a compass for navigation or orientation.

Migratory birds, sea turtles and certain types of bacteria are counted among the species with this built-in navigation system.

According to a new study, humans can also sense Earth's magnetic field.

The new study, published today (March 18) in the journal eNeuro, provides the first direct evidence, from brain scans, that humans can do so, likely through magnetic particles scattered around the brain.

The ability to detect the magnetic field, called magnetoreception, was first suggested to exist in humans back in the 1980s.

But subsequent studies of the brain, from the 1990s, didn't find evidence of the ability.

Elizabeth Tinnin 2019-03-18
img

New research suggests humans have a hidden ancient superpower -- or at least an unconscious sensory perception that we've yet to figure out how to use.

A number of animals, including migratory birds and sea turtles, have a geomagnetic sense that allows them navigate by tuning into the Earth's magnetic field.

"Aristotle described the five basic senses as including vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch," explained Caltech geoscientist Joseph Kirschvink, in a release.

"However, he did not consider gravity, temperature, pain, balance and several other internal stimuli ... geomagnetic field sensors should also be there representing not the sixth sense but perhaps the 10th or 11th human sense to be discovered."

Kirschvink and his colleagues built a special chamber designed to be isolated from radio frequencies, sounds, light and all other potential sensory stimuli.

Participants in the experiment sat in silence in the dark for an hour while researchers measured their brain waves as the artificial magnetic field around the chamber was shifted.

George Patterson 2016-06-27
img

Credit shutterstock

A US scientist has claimed to have found evidence of a "sixth sense" in humans that can detect the Earth's magnetic fields.

Joe Kirschvink, from the California Institute of Technology, says his experiment can also be "repeated and verified", something research on magnetoreception has never been able to do before.

The trial, which involved just 24 people and has not yet been peer reviewed, builds on a 2016 study that suggested other mammals, including dogs, foxes and primates have "magnetic sensors" in their eyes.

This previous research, undertaken by the Max Planck Institute and published in Nature Scientific Reports, found animals including "dogs, wolves, bears, foxes, badgers, orangutans and macaques" have the field-sensing molecule cryptochrome 1a present in their retinas.

For Kirschvink's study, participants were asked to sit in the pitch black in a Faraday cage, a structure that screens out "electromagnetic background noise' with wire coils.

When the magnetic field was "rotating counterclockwise...there was a drop in alpha waves", suggesting participants' brains were firing "in response to the magnetic field".

Raymond Maxwell 2018-07-02
img

The headlines are currently dominated by reports on progress towards building quantum computers that outperform their classical counterparts at specific computational tasks.

The benchmark where a 'quantum advantage' is expected to emerge is at 50 or so qubits, and that goal is coming into sight.

Pursuing a different route, a team including ETH physicists Andrey Lebedev and Gianni Blatter, together with colleagues in Finland and Russia, highlight another branch of technology where quantum devices promise unique benefits, and that with considerably more modest hardware resources.

Writing in the journal npj Quantum Information, the team presents experiments in which they used a single qubit to measure magnetic fields with high sensitivity, employing 'quantum trickery' to push the limits.

In their work, the team used a qubit based on a superconducting circuit.

The so-called transmon qubit is currently one of the leading candidates for a building block of large-scale quantum computers, not least as it offers numerous freedoms for engineering the circuits in ways that suit the problem at hand.

David Harrison 2016-05-28

A huge variety of animals seem capable of reading Earth s geomagnetic field.

Every three years, the Royal Institute of Navigation organizes a conference focussed solely on animals.

This April, the event was held southwest of London, at Royal Holloway College, whose ornate Victorian-era campus has appeared in Downton Abbey.

And odysseys of this sort are not limited to the feathered tribes.

Instead, Wiltschko discovered that if he put the robins in cages equipped with a Helmholtz coil—a device for creating a uniform magnetic field—the birds would change their orientation when he switched the direction of north.

So do dogs when they crouch to relieve themselves, and horses, cattle, and deer when they graze—except if they are under high-voltage power lines, which have a disruptive influence.

Evelyn Fowler 2021-01-05
(University of Tokyo) New research shows how X-Men villain Magneto's super powers could really work. Researchers in Japan have made the first observations of biological magnetoreception - live, unaltered cells responding to a magnetic field in real time. This discovery is a crucial step in understanding how animals from birds to butterflies navigate using Earth's magnetic field and addressing the question of whether weak electromagnetic fields in our environment might affect human health.
Bob Sun 2019-03-18
img

Researchers with the University of Tokyo and Caltech have found evidence that humans may have the ability to sense magnetic fields.

Many animals are known to possess magnetoreception, including birds and bees, but questions have remained over whether humans have the same ability.

A newly published study potentially has the answer, detailing brain wave changes observed in isolated participants.

Though past research had attempted to answer questions over the (potential) human ability to sense magnetic fields, none of the studies were effective.

The latest study is different, finding evidence that humans may, at the subconscious level, pick up on magnetic fields.

The research involved 34 people who were placed within an isolated radio frequency-shielded chamber in complete darkness and silence.

Sean Biro 2018-04-07
img

Birds can fly, sing, and, er, detect the Earth’s magnetic field behind their eyes, according to a recent paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Eggheads have long suggested birds use some sort of internal compass to sense the Earth’s magnetic field, as they navigate their way on long migrations, often flying thousands of miles.

Now egg-sperts at Lund University, Sweden, have found some evidence that that may be true.

It boils down to a group of proteins nicknamed Cry4 that were found in the eyes of zebra finches.

The proteins called cryptochromes are mostly known for controlling the biological circadian rhythm or body clock, but it has also been linked to magnetoreception – a mysterious ability some organisms have that allow them to feel a magnetic field.

Atticus Pinzón-Rodríguez, coauthor of the paper and a postgraduate student at Lund University, said: "Cry4 is an ideal magnetoreceptor as the level of the protein in the eyes is constant.

Cornelius Jones 2017-01-06
img

Liviu Babitz opens his collar to reveal a small silicone gadget, the size of a matchbox, attached to his chest with two titanium bars that sit just under the skin.

Most resembling a compact bike light, the North Sense that Babitz has attached is an artificial sense organ that delivers a short vibration every time the user faces North.

Babitz and Scott Cohen, co-founder at Cyborg Nest, the company that created North Sense, are currently the only two using the product, which will soon be shipped out to clients who have pre-ordered it over the last few months.

As we walk down the street there s radiation, X-rays, infrared and ultraviolet, as well as the electromagnetic field of the planet.

So we want to create new senses to become aware of our environment.

Two of their other co-founders, Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas, have both already installed superhuman senses – Harbisson, who is colourblind, has an eyeborg that allows him to hear the light spectrum including infrared and ultraviolet , while Ribas has a sensor in her elbow that vibrates when an earthquake occurs anywhere in the world.

Qi Cao 2016-05-31
img

A huge variety of animals seem capable of reading Earth’s geomagnetic field.

Every three years, the Royal Institute of Navigation organizes a conference focussed solely on animals.

This April, the event was held southwest of London, at Royal Holloway College, whose ornate Victorian-era campus has appeared in “Downton Abbey.” For several days, the world’s foremost animal-navigation researchers presented their data and findings in a small amphitheatre.

And odysseys of this sort are not limited to the feathered tribes.

Instead, Wiltschko discovered that if he put the robins in cages equipped with a Helmholtz coil—a device for creating a uniform magnetic field—the birds would change their orientation when he switched the direction of north.

So do dogs when they crouch to relieve themselves, and horses, cattle, and deer when they graze—except if they are under high-voltage power lines, which have a disruptive influence.