Magnetotactic bacteria orient and migrate along magnetic field lines. This ability is based on a submicron assembly of single-magnetic domain iron mineral particles that elegantly solves the problem of how to construct a magnetic dipole that is large enough to be oriented in the geomagnetic field at ambient temperature, yet fit inside a micron-sized cell. The solution is based on the ability of the bacteria to accumulate high concentrations of iron, and control the deposition, size and orientation of a specific iron mineral at specific locations in the cell.



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