Archive for December, 2008

Save the Salmon – Hack Their Mental Compasses

Transmitted on Dec 03 2008 to earth & nature

Wired reports on a new way to help captive salmon survive in the wild. It’s simple: just reprogram their brains!

Biologist Ken Lohmann speculates that young fish are imprinted with the geomagnetic coordinates of their place of origin, which they use to find their way back home in order to mate. This adaptation works so well that in the 19th century, salmon migrations choked rivers and nourished entire ecosystems. Naturally, salmon are now on the endangered species list. This is part of the reason why biologists are working so hard to understand the salmon’s internal compass.

Lohmann’s concept for a salmon-friendly magnetic generator assumes, of course, that salmon do use magnetism to find their way. But the evidence seems to be there.

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