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Electromagnetism & Quantum in Biology
Connection between the biological quantization of energy and electromagnetic radiation

Pablo Andueza Munduate

All that exists, at minimun scale, have quantum origin and properties but when we start zooming out, the classical physics begin to be more and more strong because in theory the quantum properties can't be applied to environments where thermal noise is present. But it has demonstrated that living organism have properties that can bypass this limitation and quantum effects are visible. ...

This section will provide some examples where quantum effects works, but before start is necessary to mention that exist a great branch of investigation that treat with quantum electrodynamics and water, where its view the importance of electromagnetic fields to maintain this coherent characteristics, that is not treated in this section but has her own sections see in [1,2].

Is necesary also to mention that there are numerous studies that show that thermal noise in stationary non-equilibrium systems may in fact support the existence of quantum coherence and entanglement and that as is mentioned in [3]

" At the level of molecular complexes and proteins, processes that are of fundamental importance for biological function can be very fast (taking place within picoseconds) and well localised (extending across a few nanometers, the size of proteins) and may therefore exhibit quantum phenomena before the environment has had an opportunity to destroy them."

One of the most accepted processes where quantum characteristics are put in action is in energy transport in photosynthesis. In this process photons are absorbed by light-harvesting antennas as an electronic excitation and then this is transported to the reaction center by the transport mechanism (that can involve different biological structures depending on what living system is; bacteria, cyanobacteria, plant, ...). From these, one of these most studied structures, is the one of the green-sulphur bacteria that is called the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) complex, and as is wrote in [4]

" What is remarkable is the observed efficiency of this and other photosynthetic units. Almost every photon (nearly 100%) that is absorbed is successfully transferred to the reaction centre, even though the intermediate electronic excitations are very short-lived (~1 ns). In 2007, Fleming and co-workers demonstrated evidence for quantum coherent energy transfer in the FMO complex."

The efficiency of those systems was the reason by which investigators began to change viewpoint and take in consideration that quantum processes can be at work in biological systems.

Also as described in the paper above mentioned, magnetoreception and the possible underlying radical-pair mechanism, uses quantum properties in order to be extremely sensitive (more papers on magnetosensitivity in this [5] section)

Other propositions are on the table, for example Rieper et al. [6] proposed that the electron clouds of nucleic acids in DNA is a chain of coupled quantum harmonic oscillators with dipole-dipole interaction between nearest neighbours resulting in a van der Waals type bonding. Or Mihelic [7] proposed that DNA molecule has properties that allow it to act as a quantum logic processor:

" An electron or its quantum state can be coherently conducted or quantum teleported longitudinally along the coherence provided by the pi stacking of the nucleotide bases of the DNA molecule [2]. As an electron or its quantum state is conducted or teleported longitudinally along the DNA molecule it is simultaneously subject to an electron spin filtration effect that is brought about by interaction of the helicity of the DNA molecule with the spin of the electron [3], and this provides the means for selective deposition of an individual electron, or the reading of an individual electron state, into a specific individual nucleotide quantum gate as determined by the electron spin direction and the coherence distance along the DNA molecule. Quantum logical operations in DNA occur via a quantum logic gate capability in each nucleotide."

And Kurian et al. [8] propose that collective electronic behavior in the DNA helix generates coherent oscillations, quantized through boundary conditions imposed by the endonuclease, that provide the energy required to break two phosphodiester bonds. Such quanta may be preserved in the presence of thermal noise and electromagnetic interference through the specific complex's exclusion of water and ions surrounding the helix, with the enzyme serving as a decoherence shield.

It can be take in consideration that DNA have also some characteristics that transform it in a electromagnetically active biosystem (see section [9])

Apart from DNA and the previously mentioned photosynthesis process other candidates are found that can probably use quantum processes. For example molecular recognition and olfaction [10] or ion channels [11,12] where mechanical superposition can sustain in the process of ion transfer in protein membrane for a substantial time.

There are various perspectives of the role of quantum processes in relation with electromagnetic fields and consciousness, all of which can integrate in a more integrative and general electromagnetic mind theory (like the one in this [13] section)

Example of a concrete process can be that proposed by Tonello et. al [14] that taking in consideration the Quantum Beating in Microtubule model (QBMT) and knowing that the basic structural components of the membrane are fatty acids (FA) with psychopathologies that are correlated with an unbalanced profile or with a dysregulation of polyunsaturated FAs and that there is a large body of literature linking the FA profile with the cytoskeleton dynamics, propose that biophotons that can reflect inter-cellular and inter-brain communication have as one of the main source the lipid peroxidation reaction ìn fatty acids. And say that FA profie is an indirect measure of the level of serotonin because of the cell membrane's viscosity dynamics linking the FAs to the serotonin receptor. Then, serotonin could be involved in quantum interactions because of its particular chemical structure, according to the dynamics proposed by the QBMT model.

More general view is proposed by Joyce [15] as they describe a mind theory where the water rotational field and the electromagnetic field are principal actors, and in which quantum effects of the electromagnetic field in a plasma dominate the microscopic domain of the brain. Other theories proposed by Caligiuri [16] or Keppeler [17] began from the idea that energy and mass of every particle or body could be actually considered as arising from Quantum Vacuum dynamics which, in turn, can exhibit, under suitable conditions always occurring in the case of living systems, a coherent behavior characterized by a strong phase correlation between matter and an electromagnetic field trapped inside this ensemble.


1. EMMIND › Endogenous Fields & Mind › Water & Electromagnetic Fields › Electromagnetism & Water - Coherence Domains

2. EMMIND › Endogenous Fields & Mind › Water & Electromagnetic Fields › Electromagnetism & Water - Exclusion Zones

3. Huelga, Susanna F., and Martin B. Plenio. "Vibrations, quanta and biology." Contemporary Physics 54.4 (2013): 181-207.

4. Lambert, Neill, et al. "Quantum biology." Nature Physics 9.1 (2013): 10-18.

5. EMMIND › Applied Fields - Experimental › Various Effects › Magnetoreception

6. Rieper, Elisabeth, Janet Anders, and Vlatko Vedral. "Quantum entanglement between the electron clouds of nucleic acids in DNA." arXiv preprint arXiv:1006.4053 (2010).

7. Mihelic, F. Matthew. "Model of Biological Quantum Logic in DNA." Life 3.3 (2013): 474-481.

8. Kurian, P., G. Dunston, and J. Lindesay. "Does quantum entanglement in DNA synchronize the catalytic centers of type II restriction endonucleases?." arXiv preprint arXiv:1403.5342 (2014).

9. EMMIND › Endogenous Fields & Mind › Endogenous Electromagnetic Fields › Electromagnetism & DNA

10. Bittner, Eric R., et al. "Quantum origins of molecular recognition and olfaction in Drosophila." The Journal of chemical physics 137.22 (2012): 22A551.

11. Salari, V., et al. "Quantum decoherence time scales for ionic superposition states in ion channels." Physical Review E 91.3 (2015): 032704.

12. Salari, Vahid, et al. "On the classical vibrational coherence of carbonyl groups in the selectivity filter backbone of the KcsA ion channel." Journal of integrative neuroscience 14.02 (2015): 195-206.

13. EMMIND › Endogenous Fields & Mind › Endogenous Electromagnetic Fields › Electromagnetic Mind - Principal

14. Tonello, Lucio, et al. "On the possible quantum role of serotonin in consciousness." Journal of integrative neuroscience 14.03 (2015): 295-308.

15. Joye, S. R. "Quantum Brain Dynamics (QBD), Consciousness, and the Fourier Transform." (2012).

16. Caligiuri, Luigi Maxmilian. "Zero-Point field, QED coherence, living systems and biophotons emission." Open Journal of Biophysics 5.01 (2015): 21.

17. Keppler, Joachim. "A new perspective on the functioning of the brain and the mechanisms behind conscious processes." Frontiers in psychology 4 (2013).

Very related sections:

expand this introductory text

text updated: 10/06/2016
tables updated: 24/03/2016

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