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quantum biology
#1
Here's a subject that has raised lots of hackles in the scientific community over the past several decades; often decreed wooish; yet gradually entering mainstream biology, initially regarding the navigation systems of migrating birds and sea turtles. The implication was that these animals had a means to perceive the Earth's magnetic field, and to engage with that possibility was to invite the specter of quantum effects on the macro realm of biological systems.

In a book i'm reading of late ("Life on the Edge", (the coming age of quantum biology) by Mcfadden and Al-Khalili, takes a dive into the details of the chemistry at the neural synapse...something that has intrigued me even before i postulated quarky's single quark hypothesis.
Sometimes i'm not sure if he was all that crazy.

It's a good read, btw. Lot's of decent journalism regarding the reporting on various experiments that have taken place over the years in the effort to understand certain migration abilities...in not only birds and sea-turtles, but insects and even microbes.

The fields are gradually being unified.
Biological organisms are evidently making use of entangled particles.

Pretty exciting stuff.
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#2
Linky here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_biology

quote: "Quantum biology is concerned with the influence of non-trivial quantum phenomena, as opposed to the so-called trivial quantum phenomena present in all biology by reduction to fundamental physics."

And I reckon that's where it goes wrong in that from a chemical (or should we specify 'biochemical') perspective, all quantum phenomena are indeed trivial. Ergo, quantum biology concerns itself with something (non trivial quantum effects) that simply does not exist as defined.
You can lead 'em to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think.
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#3
The second half of your post, Sparky, is really bizarre.
Is that scientific double speak?

I'm not sure. Yet, I'm well aware of the opposition, and its troubles with allowing non-trivial quantum effects in biology.

Would you allow that certain bio-chemical apprati have evolved to perceive a basic awareness of magnetic fields?
As in bird migration navigation?
Are the tests and repeatable experiments simply getting it wrong?
If so, what is a competitive hypothesis for this growing body of evidence?

Or is the problem that definitions need to be upgraded as we enter territories that lack adequate language?
Why do homing pigeons get lost when a small magnet is attached to their wing or beak?

I sure can't detect a magnetic field as weak as the Earth's, but i have no need to. A migrating bird does.

anyway, i'm up for a discussion.
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#4
It's times like this I wish I'd had an education. Animal migration accuracy has long interested me too. The research that's been done Stanky, did they do one on them being able to detect molecular level tidal forces in ear fluids or somesuch? That was my fave amateur guess.

That eels and salmon and turtles and birds find their way to precise locations though is beyond just reading magnetic forces isn't it?
Salmon are said to trace a chemical signature from their 'home' stream, but turtles? Birds? even Monarch butterflies who turn up in the place their grandparents wintered over, but that they'd never seen and certainly weren't told about. How dey do dat??
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#5
Well, it seems we're starting to discover how dey do dat.
It just might not be what we'd like to hear.
It's always more complex than we'd like with nature and our quest for easy answers and a nap.

This is a field that, imho, is emerging from the cusp of woo.
Wouldn't be the first time.
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#6
stank asks: "Would you allow that certain bio-chemical apprati have evolved to perceive a basic awareness of magnetic fields?
As in bird migration navigation?"

Sure, I'd allow it.

I'd also allow for things like eyes and photosynthesis and any creature that can see or use sunlight to produce carbohydrates is using electromagnetic energy in the same way as birds, turtles, etc are using the Earths magnetic field to navigate.

I just don't see anything new in this and am therefore skeptical, especially when a new term is invented to cover it.

Quantum Biology indeed.
You can lead 'em to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think.
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