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Professor Ken Lohmann, working with a team of collaborators in South Korea, has published a new study in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The paper, titled “Behavioral evidence for geomagnetic imprinting and transgenerational inheritance in fruit flies”, reports that fruit flies can learn to recognize and remember the magnetic fields that exist in different geographic areas when exposed to the fields during a critical period of development. Lohmann’s group has previously developed the concept of geomagnetic imprinting in the context of sea turtles and salmon, which imprint on the magnetic field of their home areas and use this information to migrate back as adults. The new study reveals that non-migratory animals are also capable of geomagnetic imprinting and suggests that the phenomenon may be widespread in the animal kingdom.

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