（10.27）：Walking Between Worlds: An Exploration of The Interface Between Biology and Physics
时间： 2017.10.27（周五）上午 9:00
(I)Magnetoreception, animal migration and bio-navigation: The notion that animals can detect the Earth’s magnetic field was once ridiculed, but is now well-established fact. However, the nature of this enigmatic sense has remained a fascinating and unresolved biological mystery. Previously, we identified a magnetic receptor (MagR) in animals and a rod-like protein complex magnetosensor. The magnetosensor system is a nano-scale biological compass consisting of photoreceptor Cryptochromes and magnetoreceptors, and has intrinsic magnetic polarity in alignment with magnetic fields, including the Earth’s geomagnetic field. However, questions remain: What is the origin of magnetic moments of MagR? How the light- and magneto- perceptions are coupled in our Biocompass theory? How the signals from geomagnetic field is perceived with MagR and converted to neural signals? Do animals have ‘Molecular gyroscope’ and ‘Quantum gyroscope’ to guide their navigation? And how to apply magnetic fields to modulate biological processes based on MagR? We may find answers to these biological mysteries from interdisciplinary studies.
(II)Cephalopods, the group of animals including octopus, squid and cuttlefish, have remarkable ability to instantly modulate body coloration and patterns so as to blend into surrounding environments or send warning signals to other animals. Reflectin, named because of its high refractive index, is expressed exclusively in cephalopods and forms reflectors responsible for dynamic iridescence and structural color change. We report the hierarchical structural architecture of reflectin protein. Intrinsic self-assembly, along with higher-order assembly, provide insights into the formation of multilayer reflectors in iridophores and spherical microparticles in leucophores, and form the basis of structural color change in cephalopods.