Clarice D. Aiello in The Conversation:
Imagine using your cellphone to control the activity of your own cells to treat injuries and disease. It sounds like something from the imagination of an overly optimistic science fiction writer. But this may one day be a possibility through the emerging field of quantum biology.
Over the past few decades, scientists have made incredible progress in understanding and manipulating biological systems at increasingly small scales, from protein folding to genetic engineering. And yet, the extent to which quantum effects influence living systems remains barely understood.
Quantum effects are phenomena that occur between atoms and molecules that can’t be explained by classical physics. It has been known for more than a century that the rules of classical mechanics, like Newton’s laws of motion, break down at atomic scales. Instead, tiny objects behave according to a different set of laws known as quantum mechanics.