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Quantum biology may use computations to model biological interactions in light of quantum mechanical effects. Early pioneers of quantum physics saw applications of quantum mechanics in biological problems. In his paper, he stated that there is a new field of study called “quantum biology”. Light excites electrons in an antenna. The excitation then transfers through various proteins in the FMO complex to the reaction center to further photosynthesis. This antenna varies between organisms.
This electron excitation creates a separation of charge in a reaction site that is later converted into chemical energy for the cell to use. Various structures are responsible for transferring energy from the antennas to a reaction site. However, critical follow-up studies question the interpretation of these results and assign the reported signatures of electronic quantum coherence to nuclear dynamics in the chromophores. There are a number of proposals as to how quantum coherence transfers the absorbed energy to the reaction site. Recent work indicates that symmetries present in the geometric arrangement of the complex may favor efficient energy transfer to the reaction center, in a way that resembles perfect state transfer in quantum networks.
However, control experiments cast doubts on the interpretation that quantum effects last any longer than one hundred femtoseconds. Tunneling refers to the ability of a small mass particle to travel through energy barriers. 30 Å plays a role in redox reactions in enzymes of cellular respiration. Even though there are such large separations between redox sites within enzymes, electrons successfully transfer in a temperature independent and distance dependent manner. This suggests the ability of electrons to tunnel in physiological conditions. Further research is needed to determine whether this specific tunneling is also coherent. 1978 by Schulten et al.
Nevertheless, in the lab, the direction of weak magnetic fields can affect radical-pair’s reactivity, and therefore can “catalyze” the formation of chemical products. To empirically suggest the involvement of entanglement, an experiment would need to be devised that could disturb entangled radical-pairs without disturbing other radical-pairs, or vice versa, which would first need to be demonstrated in a laboratory setting before being applied to magnetoreception. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group. Berkeley: University of California Press. Quantum Explorers: Bohr, Jordan, and Delbruck Venturing into Biology”.
Quantum genetics and the aperiodic solid. Some aspects on the Biological problems of heredity, mutations, aging and tumours in view of the quantum theory of the DNA molecule. Two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy reveals ultrafast energy diffusion in chlorosomes”. Quantum entanglement in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes”.
Engel GS, Calhoun TR, Read EL, Ahn TK, Mancal T, Cheng YC, et al. Vibrational Beatings Conceal Evidence of Electronic Coherence in the FMO Light-Harvesting Complex”. Origin of Long-Lived Coherences in Light-Harvesting Complexes”. The role of the environment time scale in light-harvesting efficiency and coherent oscillations”. Influence of weak vibrational-electronic couplings on 2D electronic spectra and inter-site coherence in weakly coupled photosynthetic complexes”.