Homing Instinct: The story behind and beyond biocompass model
Prof. Can Xie
Peking University

Animals rely on senses to perceive the surrounding physical world.  Magnetic sensing is one of the most controversial animal senses. Here, we report  the identification and characterization of a putative magnetic receptor (MagR)  and a multimeric magnetosensing rod-like protein complex. The magnetosensing  complex consists of the identified magnetoreceptor and the known  magnetoreception-related photoreceptor cryptochromes (Cry), has the attributes  of both Cry- and iron-based systems, and exhibits spontaneous alignment in  magnetic fields, including that of the Earth. Such a protein complex may form  the basis of magnetoreception in animals, and may lead to applications across  multiple fields. 

Qin S, Yin H, Yang C, Dou Y, Liu Z,  Zhang P, Yu H, Huang Y, Feng J, Hao J, Hao J, Deng L, Yan X, Dong X, Zhang Z,  Jiang T, Wang HW, Luo SJ, Xie C (2015). A magnetic protein biocompass. Nature Materials 15; advance online, 16 November  2015 (DOI 10.1038/nature4484).

About the Speaker

Dr. Xie graduated from Hunan normal University, then got his Ph.D. in  Biochemistry and molecular biology with Prof. Shouyi Chen in the Chinese Academy  of Sciences. He worked in Harvard University Medical school as research fellow  before coming back to Peking University. He is currently a Principal  Investigator in the school of Life sciences. His research focus is on receptor  biology, mainly in two major directions: (I) The Molecular machanism of  magnetoreception and navigation in animals and (II) Coloration and Structural  Color (The color of an organism is a structural adaptation that helps it  survive). 

2016-01-05 10:00 AM
Room: Conference Room I
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