(BBC News) Scientists have built a model circuit that solves the mystery of one of nature's most famous journeys - the great migration of monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico.
Monarchs are the only insects to migrate such a vast distance.
So, by teaming up with biologists, mathematicians set out to recreate the internal compass they use to navigate on that journey.
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The findings are published in the journal Cell Reports.
Lead researcher Prof Eli Shlizerman, from the University of Washington, explained that, as a mathematician, he wants to know how neurobiological systems are wired and what rules we can learn from them.