Fruit flies' ability to sense magnetic fields thrown into doubt

In this episode:

00:49 The search for animals’ magnetic sense sufferers a potential setback

Exactly how animals sense Earth’s magnetic field has long eluded researchers. To understand it, many have turned to the fly model Drosophila melanogaster, long thought to be able to detect magnetic fields. However, a recent Nature paper has raised questions about this ability, a finding that could have repercussions for scientists’ efforts to understand the mechanism behind magnetic sensing, one of the biggest questions in sensory biology.

Research article: Bassetto et al.

News & Views: Replication study casts doubt on magnetic sensing in flies

10:53 Research Highlights

The world’s first filter feeder, and human-caused climate change in the Bronze Age.

Research Highlight: This ancient reptile wanted to be a whale

Research Highlight: Bronze Age deforestation changed Europe’s climate

13:03 An iconic observatory shuts down

This week the famed Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico shut down. The facility’s main telescope collapsed in 2020 and the site has since been battered by storms and pandemic-related shutdowns. Now, with funding exhausted and no clear plan in place, scientists are wondering what will become of the site.

Nature News: Closing down an icon: will Arecibo Observatory ever do science again?

20:28 Briefing Chat

This time, the Standard Model of physics still isn't dead according to new measurements of muons' magnetic moment, and finding the most diverse habitat on Earth under your feet.

Nature News: Dreams of new physics fade with latest muon magnetism result

The Guardian: More than half of Earth’s species live in the soil, study finds

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