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Cryptochrome

Cryptochrome

Cryptochromes are blue-light-sensitive proteins found in plants and animals. CRY1 and CRY2 are known to regulate circadian rhythms, while CRY4 is involved in magnetoreception in birds.

Magnetoreception

Birds are able to sense magnetic fields and use them to navigate. However, this capability for magnetoreception is light-dependent; without blue light, birds are unable to orient to a magnetic field. The blue-light-sensitive cryptochrome proteins CRY1 and CRY4 have been shown to play a role in birds' magnetoreception. Research published in 2018 argues that CRY4 proteins in bird retinae are responsible for this sense, which previous research has shown to be coactivated with ascending visual pathways.

CRY2 has also been observed to mediate the magnetoreceptive abilities of flies and cockroaches.

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