Quantum Biology May Help Solve Some of Life’s Greatest Mysteries

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sciborg2

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« on: June 27, 2019, 03:25:23 pm »
Basically an overview of past experiments, but the diagrams are cool:

Quantum Biology May Help Solve Some of Life’s Greatest Mysteries

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Putting quantum biology to work

Most ideas in quantum biology are still driven more by theory than by experimental support, but a number of researchers are now trying to close the gap. Vedral’s team plans to collect more data on bacterial entanglement later this year, and physicist Simon Gröblacher of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has proposed carrying out entanglement experiments with tardigrades. In 2017, Al-Khalili and his Life on the Edge coauthor, University of Surrey biologist Johnjoe McFadden, helped establish a doctoral training center for quantum biology to encourage interdisciplinary crosstalk and advance research efforts. Among the wider community of scientists and research funders, “now you’re not considered completely mad if you say you’re studying quantum mechanics in biology,” McFadden says. “It’s just considered a little bit wacky.”

Researchers who spoke to The Scientist also emphasize that, whether or not the theorized mechanisms garner experimental support, the speculation in quantum biology is itself valuable. “As we miniaturize our technology, we have a wealth of information in the biological world from which to draw inspiration,” says theoretical physicist and quantum computing researcher Adriana Marais, head of innovation at tech company SAP Africa. “This is a fantastic opportunity to investigate what life is, but also to learn lessons on how to engineer processes at this microscale in an optimal way.”

Real-world applications encompass technologies from more-efficient solar cells to new classes of biosensors. Last year, one group proposed a design for a “biomimetic nose,” based partly on the quantum theory of olfaction, to detect tiny concentrations of odorants.26 And Hore and others have highlighted the radical-pair mechanism that may underlie magnetoreception for use in devices to sense weak magnetic fields.

“We can use the information we gain to design systems on these principles,” says Ritz, “even if it turns out that that’s not how birds do it.”
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TLEILAXU

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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2019, 10:46:02 pm »
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Enzymes lower this barrier by stabilizing an intermediate, or “transition,” state that allows the reaction (such as the movement of a hydrogen atom within a molecule) to take place.
As if taken from a textbook! Made me happy to see. Had no idea about the tunneling thingies though, but it doesn't sound super convincing, but as was also written, thinking about them is worth it in itself.