Quantum Biology: Does quantum physics hold the key to revolutionizing medicine?

Authors

  • Bey Hing Goh
  • Eng Siang Tong
  • Priyia Pusparajah

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36877/pddbs.a0000130

Abstract

Quantum biology is the study of quantum effects on biochemical mechanisms and biological function. Quantum physics describes the behaviour of the nanoscale particles that make up all matter including living organisms, but it was generally believed that the ‘warm, wet and noisy environment’ in living organisms would result in decoherence making it impossible for meaningful quantum effects to occur. However, there is now a substantial body of work supporting that nature has actually adapted in such a way as to exploit quantum properties to enhance cellular functioning and is believed to have role in a diverse range of key processes in living organisms ranging from maintaining the stability of DNA to neuron function to conscious cognition; from light harvesting in photosynthesis to avian magnetic field based navigation. This review aims to summarize the various mechanisms and functions in living organisms believed to utilize quantum mechanics to purposefully and effectively enhance their performance, and to explore the potential this could hold in diagnosing and treating various medical conditions.

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Published

2020-11-10

Issue

Section

PERSPECTIVE ARTICE