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Is quantum mechanics at the heart of molecular biology?

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But there’s something else to think about, as mentioned in the Technology Review article linked to above. It directs the reader to this 2000 paper from Apoorva Patel. He showed that a quantum-computing system that implements the Grover algorithm is capable of distinguishing between four choices in a single computational step – in fact, four is the optimum number, giving the greatest computational efficiency. Similarly, he also showed that a three-step quantum search under these conditions can distinguish between 20 choices as the most efficient number.

...It has not escaped the attention of the authors of this new paper, to borrow a phrase. Recall that part about using the hole defect as a built-in “oracle” step in the search – the authors note: “Indeed, replacing the Grover oracle step by surface defects seems way more practical in terms of experimental realizations, whatever the substrate, possibly even in a biological setting“, and reference a later Patel paper at that link. Patel himself has speculated on just these possibilities with nucleotides and amino acids, but all this of course requires that the Grover algorithm be recapitulated by natural phenomena, and that such a quantum-mechanical process is actually somehow at the root of molecular biology. It looks like the first of those is being shown right now. Which makes the second, however weird and unlikely it may seem, worth taking more seriously. Now this is what I expected from the twenty-first century, not the rest of the garbage that we find ourselves surrounded with (current events, etc.) A research area for the brave!



This also implies that Earthly life already makes use of the most optimal methods of genetic information storage and genetic expression that are possible if the storage medium is organic. 

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    Democratic Socialist Materialist

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Wow, this would be amazing if true!

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