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Quantum states in proteins and protein assemblies: The essence of life?
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Paper Abstract

Activities in living cells are performed by protein conformational dynamics which in turn are governed by quantum mechanical van der Waals London forces in intra-protein “hydrophobic” pockets. In assemblies of proteins with periodic lattice geometry such as cytoskeletal actin and microtubules (as well as ordered water on their surfaces), Bose-Einstein condensation, quantum coherent superposition and quantum computation with entanglement may occur as a collective effect of these forces due to metabolic coherent phonon pumping. Decoherence can be avoided through isolation/shielding by actin gelation, Debye layer screening and water/ion ordering and topological quantum error correction. As an example, quantum spin transfer through organic molecules is more efficient at higher temperatures than at absolute zero. The unitary oneness and ineffability of living systems may depend on mesoscopic/macroscopic quantum states in protoplasm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2004
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 5467, Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems II, (25 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.548520
Show Author Affiliations
Stuart R. Hameroff M.D., Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Jack A. Tuszynski, Univ. of Alberta (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5467:
Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems II
Derek Abbott; Sergey M. Bezrukov; Andras Der; Angel Sanchez, Editor(s)

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