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Biosystems. 2004 Dec;78(1-3):69-79.

Does quantum mechanics play a non-trivial role in life?

Author information

1
Australian Centre for Astrobiology, Macquarie University, New South Wales, 2109, Australia. pdavies@els.mq.edu.au

Abstract

There have been many claims that quantum mechanics plays a key role in the origin and/or operation of biological organisms, beyond merely providing the basis for the shapes and sizes of biological molecules and their chemical affinities. These range from Schrödinger's suggestion that quantum fluctuations produce mutations, to Hameroff and Penrose's conjecture that quantum coherence in microtubules is linked to consciousness. I review some of these claims in this paper, and discuss the serious problem of decoherence. I advance some further conjectures about quantum information processing in bio-systems. Some possible experiments are suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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