-Pentagon Explores Quantum Biology.

Posted: September 14, 2008 in 2008, Articles, IIB Films, Internal Affairs
Tags: ,


Danger Room:

For years, military researchers have been exploring how the seemingly-improbable realm of quantum mechanics could impact information technology — leading to faster, more powerful computers, next-gen radars and radios, and encryption that’s all-but-impossible to break. Now, the Pentagon’s blue-sky research arm is starting to look at how quantum mechanics might impact biology, as well.

Darpa’s Defense Sciences Office has announced a workshop to discuss “innovative research that will investigate the way that nature may be exploiting quantum mechanical effects in biological systems.” And of course, they need an acronym to do it. So get ready for “QuBE,” short for “Quantum Effects in Biological Environments.”

Scientists have recently discovered that quantum energy transfers allow plants and cynobacteria to convert sunlight into chemical energy nearly instantly, and with almost 100 percent efficiency. “As energy passes between molecules involved in photosynthesis, a newly observed ‘wavelike characteristic’ allows the energy to ‘simultaneously sample all the potential energy pathways and choose the most efficient one,'” our Wired Science co-bloggers observe. They liken it to the “sci-fi trope” in which “a digital consciousness” is split “into several ‘forks’ that simultaneously explore different courses of action before telling a central consciousness what to do.”

Continue reading “Pentagon Explores Quantum Biology” »

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