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Quantum effects in biology: golden rule in enzymes, olfaction, photosynthesis and magnetodetection

Brookes, JC; (2017) Quantum effects in biology: golden rule in enzymes, olfaction, photosynthesis and magnetodetection. Proceedings of The Royal Society A - Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences , 473 , Article 20160822. 10.1098/rspa.2016.0822. Green open access

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Abstract

Despite certain quantum concepts, such as superposition states, entanglement, ‘spooky action at a distance’ and tunnelling through insulating walls, being somewhat counterintuitive, they are no doubt extremely useful constructs in theoretical and experimental physics. More uncertain, however, is whether or not these concepts are fundamental to biology and living processes. Of course, at the fundamental level all things are quantum, because all things are built from the quantized states and rules that govern atoms. But when does the quantum mechanical toolkit become the best tool for the job? This review looks at four areas of ‘quantum effects in biology’. These are biosystems that are very diverse in detail but possess some commonality. They are all (i) effects in biology: rates of a signal (or information) that can be calculated from a form of the ‘golden rule’ and (ii) they are all protein–pigment (or ligand) complex systems. It is shown, beginning with the rate equation, that all these systems may contain some degree of quantumeffect, and where experimental evidence is available, it is explored to determine how the quantum analysis aids in understanding of the process.

Type: Article
Title: Quantum effects in biology: golden rule in enzymes, olfaction, photosynthesis and magnetodetection
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2016.0822
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2016.0822
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, quantum, enzymes, olfaction, photosynthesis, magnetodetection, MATTHEWS-OLSON COMPLEX, ELECTRON-TRANSFER, ENERGY-TRANSFER, MOLECULAR VIBRATION, ODORANT RECEPTORS, CHEMICAL COMPASS, PROTEIN DYNAMICS, MAGNETIC COMPASS, REACTION CENTERS, RADICAL-PAIR
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > London Centre for Nanotechnology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10023447
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