Sharp-eyed robins can see magnetic fields

(PhysOrg.com) -- It has been known for decades that some birds are able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and set their direction as if following a compass heading, which is an extremely useful ability for birds migrating ...

Uncovering how plants see blue light

Plants can perceive and react to light across a wide spectrum. New research from Prof. Nitzan Shabek's laboratory in the Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences shows how plants can respond to blue light ...

A newly discovered protein repairs DNA

Researchers from the University of Seville, in collaboration with colleagues from the Universities of Murcia and Marburg (Germany) have identified a new protein that makes it possible to repair DNA. The protein in question, ...

Magnetoreception molecule found in the eyes of dogs and primates

Cryptochromes are light-sensitive molecules that exist in bacteria, plants and animals. In animals, they are involved in the control of the body's circadian rhythms. In birds, cryptochromes are also involved in the light-dependent ...

Final pieces to the circadian clock puzzle found

Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have discovered how two genes – Period and Cryptochrome – keep the circadian clocks in all human cells in time and in proper rhythm with the 24-hour day, as well as the seasons. ...

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Cryptochrome

Cryptochromes (from the Greek κρυπτό χρώμα, hidden colour) are a class of blue light-sensitive flavoproteins found in plants and animals. Cryptochromes are involved in the circadian rhythms of plants and animals, and in the sensing of magnetic fields in a number of species. The name Cryptochrome was proposed as a pun combining the cryptic nature of the photoreceptor, and the cryptogamic organisms on which many blue light studies were carried out.

The two genes Cry1 and Cry2 code for the two cryptochrome proteins CRY1 and CRY2. In insects and plants, CRY1 regulates the circadian clock in a light-dependent fashion, whereas in mammals, CRY1 and CRY2 act as light-independent inhibitors of CLOCK-BMAL1 components of the circadian clock. In plants, blue light photoreception can be used to cue developmental signals.

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