So I was going through my instagram feed today and through my search suggestions. I don’t know how. But in some weird way, in my search suggestions was a topic called “Quantum Biology”. Till today, I had always had the perception of Quantum to be something related to physics. So Quantum Biology had me thinking. I searched people’s comments about quantum biology. Apparently, people find it very complex, boring and difficult. So, I decided to try and make it a bit simpler.
Let’s start from the beginning. What is biology? Biology is the study of living beings. What is quantum? Quantum is the minimum parameter of any interaction.
So let’s take a guess at what quantum biology is.
Probably it is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in interaction related to the study of living beings.
No idea what that meant?
Well let me explain it to you. It helps you understand how quantum mechanics plays a role in biological processes. It refers to the applications of quantum mechanics and chemistry to biological objects and problems.
Still not quite there?
Okay let’s get you there (hopefully)
What happens in photosynthesis? The sunlight is broken down for the growth of the plant. So it basically means, one form of energy is conserved for some chemical transformations. These are the quantum mechanics in nature. Some more examples are DNA mutations, olfactory and cellular respirations.
Quantum biology is concerned with influence of non trivial quantum phenomena, as opposed to trivial phenomena, which can be explained by reducing biological process to fundamental physics.
Many believe that quantum biology is modern dynamics. But the very basics of it van be traced back to the early 20th century. The first book per say on quantum biology was written by Erwin Schrödinger titled ‘What is life?’ which was published in 1944. Mind boggling, eh?
These are just some applications of quantum biology.
Planta make their food using sunlight. Let’s get a bit deeper into that. Actually, process of electron excitation results into absorption of light. This electron excitation creates a separation of charge in a reaction site. Later on, cells use it in form of chemical energy. The plants need to transfer this electron excitation effectively and timely before energy is lost in fluorescence. And hence the process begins. Quantum biology explains this process of how things exactly work.
Mutation : DNA consists of 5 nucleotides – uracil, guanine, thymine, crystosine and adenine. The order of these nucleotides decide the fate of the proteins. Every cell reproduction must copy these strands of DNA. However, sometimes an error may occur in copying. This happens because, a nucleotide may change its form through a process called quantum funneling. The proton may tunnel out of a nucleotide changing it’s structure resulting in its ability to pair with original base consequently changing structure and order of DNA strand. Precisely, But quantum biology can solve this problem.
There are these and many more applications of quantum biology. It is a very vast and dynamic field. Most recent studies not only show the precise phenomenons such as respiration, bird navigation but quantum mechanics also influences the way we think.
Just imagine the whole new aspect that quantum biology opens up. Who knows in future, probably someone well known with every part of quantum biology may also have the power of tampering with your thoughts. Spooky much? I leave you on that note and promise to bring back more about quantum biology some other time.