Is DNA spooked by quantum physics?
|December 10, 2013||Posted by News under Genomics, Genetics, News|
Some physicists suspect so.
Were we talking about wormholes created between entangled quantum particles yesterday?
From Technology Review:
There was a time, not so long ago, when biologists swore black and blue that quantum mechanics could play no role in the hot, wet systems of life.
Since then, the discipline of quantum biology has emerged as one of the most exciting new fields in science. It’s beginning to look as if quantum effects are crucial in a number of biological processes, such as photosynthesis and avian navigation which we’ve looked at here and here.
Now a group of physicists say that the weird laws of quantum mechanics may be more important for life than biologists could ever have imagined. Their new idea is that DNA is held together by quantum entanglement. More.
TR cautions that it is “Speculative but potentially explosive work.” Worth asking about, anyway.
For one thing, it may help underpin epigenetics, the question of how and why genes become active:
One tantalising suggestion at the end of their paper is that the entanglement may have an influence on the way that information is read off a strand of DNA and that it may be possible to exploit this experimentally. Just how, they don’t say.
Okay, so genetic determinism is toast and we can’t get our fortunes told by 23andMe? But how big a problem is that?