DNA is a remarkable molecule. Not just because it contains the whole genetic blueprint of the organism distilled in such a simple manner, but also because it can vibrate, rotate, and excite in so many ways. DNA is not natively static. It’s vibrating at superfast frequencies (like nanoseconds and femtoseconds)! Where does all this vibrational energy come from? One would think this energy would dissipate into the surrounding environment. Also puzzling is: why is there a full copy of DNA in every single cell? Isn’t that overkill? This paper, “Is it possible to predict electromagnetic resonances in proteins, DNA and RNA?” by I. Cosic, D. Cosic, and K. Lazar (2016), shows the incredible range of resonant frequencies in DNA. And, not only that, they also show that there is substantial overlap with other biomolecules like proteins and RNA. Perhaps DNA has some deeper purpose. Is it possible DNA is some sort of quantum repeater (chapter VII)? To do so, DNA would need to provide a source of entangled particles (like the EPR photon source in a laboratory quantum network).
This paper “Quantum entanglement between the electron clouds of nucleic acids in DNA” (2010) by E. Rieper, J. Anders, and V. Vedral has shown that entanglement between the electron clouds of neighboring nucleotides plays a critical role in holding DNA together. They oscillate, like springs, between the nucleotides, and occupy a superposition of states: to balance each other out laterally, and to synchronize oscillations (harmonics) along the chain. The former prevents lateral strain on the molecule, and the latter is more rhythmically stable. Both kinds of superpositions exist because they stabilize and lower the overall energy configuration of the molecule! The entanglement is in its ground state at biological temperatures so the molecule will remain entangled even in thermal equilibrium. Furthermore, because the electron clouds act like spacers between the planar nucleotides they are coupled to their vibrations (phonons). If the electron clouds are in a superposition of states, then the phonons will be also.
Figure 27: The structure of the DNA double helix. The atoms in the structure are colour-coded by element and the detailed structure of two base pairs (nucleotides) are shown in the bottom right. The nucleotides are planar molecules primarily aligned perpendicular to the direction of the helix. From Wikipedia.
So, DNA’s electron clouds could provide the entanglement, but where does the energy come from? It could, for instance, come from the absorption of ultraviolet light (UV radiation). While we’re all mindful of the harmful aspect of UV radiation, DNA is actually able to dissipate this energy superfast and super efficiently 99.9% of the time. When DNA does absorb UV radiation, the absorption has been shown to be spread out non-locally along the nucleotide chain and follows a process known as internal conversion where it is thought to be thermalized (i.e. turned into heat). Could UV photons be down-converted and then radiated as photons at THz frequencies instead? One UV photon has the energy to make a thousand THz photons, for instance. We have seen such highly efficient and coherent quantum conversions of energy before in photosynthesis (chapter VIII). Could this be a way of connecting the quantum network via the overlapping resonant frequencies to neighboring DNA, RNA, and proteins? The photons would need to be coherent to entangle the network. Also, we can’t always count on UV radiation, e.g. at night or indoors. If this is to work, there must be another source of energy driving the vibrations of DNA also.
A paper published in 2013 by A. Bolan et al. showed experimental evidence that THz radiation affected the expression of genes in the stem cells of mice suggesting that the THz spectrum is particularly important for gene expression. Phonon modes have been observed in DNA for some time, but not under physiological conditions (e.g. in the presence of water) until now. This paper entitled “Observation of coherent delocalized phonon-like modes in DNA under physiological conditions” (2016) by M. González-Jiménez, et al. gives experimental evidence of coherent quantum phonons states even in the presence of water. These phonons span the length of the DNA sequence, expand and contract the distance between nucleotides, and are thought to play a role in breaking the hydrogen bonds that connect the two DNA strands. They are in the THz regime and allow the strands to open forming a transcription bubble which enables access to the nucleotide sequence for replication. This is sometimes referred to as “DNA breathing“. Hence, it’s plausible these phonon modes can control gene expression, and, possibly exist in a complex superposition with the other states of the DNA molecule. They also are coherent which is critical for extending the quantum network, but, is there any evidence proteins could be entangled too?
In 2015 I. Lundholm, et al. published this paper “Terahertz radiation induces non-thermal structural changes associated with Fröhlich condensation in a protein crystal” showing that they could create something called a Fröhlich condensate when they exposed a collection of protein molecules to a THz laser. Herbert Fröhlich proposed the idea back in 1968 and since then it has been the subject of much debate. Now, finally, we have direct evidence these states can be induced in biological systems. These condensates are special because they involve a macroscopic collection of molecules condensing into a single non-local quantum state that only exists under the right conditions. There are many ways a Fröhlich condensate can form, but, in this case, it involves compression of the atomic helical structure of the proteins. Upon compression, the electrons of millions of proteins in crystalline form align and form a collective vibrational state, oscillating together coherently. This conformational change in the protein is critical to controlling its functioning – something generally true of proteins, e.g. as in enzyme catalysis, and protein-protein interactions (hat tip here for the examples). In the laboratory, the condensate state will last micro- to milli- seconds after exposure to the THz radiation, a long time in biomolecular timescales. Of course, that’s upon exposure to a THz laser. Could DNA THz photon emissions perform the same feat and carry the coherent information on from DNA and entangle proteins in the quantum network as well? Could a whole quantum network involving DNA, RNA, and a vast slew of proteins throughout the organism be entangled together via continuous coherent interaction with the EM field (at THz and other frequencies)? If so, it would give the organism an identity as “One” thing, and, it would connect the proteins which are interacting with the environment with the DNA that encodes them. This would open a possible connection between the tautomerization mutation mechanism (chapter VIII) and environmental stress! In other words, a method by which mutations are adaptive would be feasible, and not just that, but a method which could use quantum computational power to determine how to adapt!
But, then there is the question of energy. Where does the continual energy supply come from to support this network and can it supply it without disrupting coherence? In this paper, “Fröhlich Systems in Cellular Physiology” by F. Šrobár (2012), the author describes the details of a pumping source providing energy to the Fröhlich condensate via ATP, or GTP-producing mitochondria. Could the organism’s own metabolism be the sustaining energy source behind the organism’s coherent quantum network?
In the presence of so much coherence, is it possible dynamical interference patterns, using the EM field, could be directed very precisely by the organism – very much like a hologram? Not a visual hologram but rather, images in the EM field relevant to controlling biomolecular processes (e.g. the KHz, MHz, GHz, and THz domains)? A hologram is a 3-D image captured on a 2-D surface using a laser. The holographic plate is special in that it not only records brightness and color, but also the phase of incident coherent light. When the same frequency of coherent light is shined upon it, it reproduces the 3-D image through interference. The surface does not need to be a 2-D sheet, however. Coherently vibrating systems of molecules throughout the organism could create the interference. Not only that, but if the biological quantum network is in a superposition of many states at once, could it conceivably create a superposition of multiple interference patterns in the 3-D EM field at many different frequencies simultaneously (e.g. 20 MHz, 100 GHz, 1 THz, etc.)? With these interference effects, perhaps the organism directly controls, for instance, microtubule growth in specific regions as shown in this paper “Live visualizations of single isolated tubulin protein self-assembly via tunneling current: effect of electromagnetic pumping during spontaneous growth of microtubule” (2014) by S. Sahu, S. Ghosh, D. Fujita, and A. Bandyopadhyay? The paper shows that when the EM field is turned on, at a frequency that coincides with mechanical vibrational frequency of the tubulin protein molecule, the microtubules may be induced to grow, or, stop growing if the EM field is turned off. Microtubules are structural proteins that help form the cytoskeleton of all cells throughout the organism. Perhaps, more generally, organisms use holographic like interference effects to induce or halt growth, induce conformational changes (with the right frequency), manipulate Fröhlich effects, and generally control protein function throughout themselves? Indeed, it may not only be the case of “DNA directing its own transcription” as many biologists believe, but the organism as One whole directing many aspects of its own development.
This process would be more analogous to the growth of a quasicrystal (chapter IX) than a bunch of individual molecules trying to find their way. In the process of growth, mistakes along the way happen, such as misfolded proteins. Because quantum mechanics is probabilistic, some mistakes are inevitable. They become like the phason-strain in the quasicrystal – the quantum network corrects the arrangement through non-local phason-shifts, directed holographically. Rearrangement is not like reallocating balls and sticks as in classical molecular chemistry, but more like phasing out of one configuration of quantum wave functions and into another. Perhaps the quantum computing power of vast superpositions through holographic interference effects, not unlike Shor’s algorithm (chapter V), is the key to solving the highly non-linear, probably NP-hard problems, of organic growth.
Construction of the eye, a process requiring global spatial information and coordination, could be envisioned holographically by the quantum organism in the same way that quantum mechanics understood the Fibonacci sequence. Imagine the holographic image of the “Death Star” in “Star Wars” acting as a 3-D blueprint guiding its own assembly (as opposed to destroying it J). The hologram of the eye, originating from the quantum network of the organism is like a guiding pattern – a pattern resulting from coherent interfering amplitudes – guiding its own construction. It’s the same concept as how quantum mechanics can project forward the Fibonacci sequence and then build it in a quasicrystal, just scaled up many-fold in complexity. Growth of the eye could be the result of deliberate control of the organism’s coherent EM field focused through the holographic lens of DNA and the entangled biomolecules of the organism’s quantum network.
The growth of the organism could quite possibly be related to our own experience of feeling, through intuition, that the solution to a problem is out there. Maybe, we haven’t put all the parts together yet, we haven’t found a tangible approach yet, we may not know all the details but there is a guiding intuition there. We feel it. Perhaps that is the feeling of creativity, the feeling of quantum interference, the feeling of holographic effects. The building of an organism is like layers of the quasicrystals phasing together, capturing abstract complex relationships and dependencies, to make a successful quasicrystal. Each layer is a milestone on the way to that distant clever solution – a fully functional organism! Maybe humans do not have a monopoly on creative intelligence, maybe it is a power central to the Universe! Life moved it beyond quasicrystalline structures, highly advanced organisms moved it beyond the space of biomolecules, but the raw creative power, could be intrinsic. Moreover, all life would be the very special result of immense problem solving, creativity and quantum computational power! That certainly feels good, doesn’t it?