Quantum mechanics in the biological systems

Green leaves

Scientists have found that Quantum world is not specific to tiny world of subatomic particles but it has a significant role in the biology of life i.e. quantum biology.

Quantum biology is thought to be the key subject behind a variety of biological processes such as the sense of smell, photosynthesis and migration of birds.

[hana-code-insert name=’StumbleUpon’ /][hana-code-insert name=’Reddit’ /]Scientists have recently talked about such mysteries of life on June 1 at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College as a part of the fifth annual World Science Festival.

Quantum physics is strange as the small particles are found to have the property of passing through the walls, behaving like waves and stay connected over vast distances.

“Quantum mechanics is weird, that’s its defining characteristic. It’s funky and strange,” said MIT mechanical engineer Seth Lloyd.

“Life is made out of atoms and atoms behave quantum mechanically,” said cosmologist Paul Davies of Arizona State University. “Life has been around for a long time — 3.5 billion years on this planet at least — and there’s plenty of time to learn some quantum trickery if it confers an advantage.”

Scientists have found that many of the migrating birds have extra-ordinary ability of coming at the same breeding place after migrating thousands of miles every year. This may be due to the quantum mechanics, which is set-up as the internal compasses of the birds. This could be the result of the protein fixed inside the birds’ eye cells called as cryptochrome.

Scientists have found that sense of smell also works effectively as a result of quantum mechanics. They observed that although some of the odor molecules have same shapes but they have completely different smell.

“The theory is that even if the shape of the molecule is the same, because it’s got this slight difference, it vibrates in a different fashion,” Lloyd said. “And this kind of wavelike nature, which is a purely quantum kind of effect, somehow this receptor is able to sense this vibrational difference.”

Scientists are of the opinion that quantum biology could help us in finding the answer to the origin of life.

Lloyd has also said that the only human beings on this Earth to intuitively understand the quantum mechanics.

“Babies lose their intuition for quantum mechanics when they’re about 3 months old, which is the age when they learn to play peekaboo,” Lloyd said.

Source: LiveScience


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