Prompted by recent experimental results in marine algae, indicating quantum entanglement at ambient temperature, with correlations between essential biological units separated by distances as long as 20 Angstroms and decoherence times, due to environmental influences, of order 400 fs, I review here a related topic proposed several years ago in connection with the possible role of quantum mechanics and/or field theory on dissipation-free energy transfer in (brain) microtubules (MT). The basic assumption was to view the cell MT as quantum electrodynamical cavities, providing sufficient isolation in vivo to enable the formation of electric-dipole quantum coherent solitonic states across the tubulin dimer walls. Crucial to this, were argued to be the electromagnetic interactions of the dipole moments of the tubulin dimers with the dipole quanta in the ordered water interiors of the MT, that play the role of quantum coherent cavity modes. Quantum entanglement between tubulin dimers was argued to be possible, provided there exists sufficient isolation from other environmental cell effects. Thus, decoherence times as long as 10(-7) - 10(-6) s could characterise the MT systems. The model was based on certain ferroelectric aspects of MT. In the talk I revisit these decoherence time scales in light of the algae measurements and argue that, even if the environmental decoherence implies short time scales of order of a few hundreds of fs, this is a sufficient time for some kind of quantum computation to take place in (brain) MT, so that within these time scales the cell "quantum calculates" the optimal "path" along which energy and signal (information) are transported most efficiently along the MT.
|9TH INTERNATIONAL FROHLICHS SYMPOSIUM: ELECTRODYNAMIC ACTIVITY OF LIVING CELLS (INCLUDING MICROTUBULE COHERENT MODES AND CANCER CELL PHYSICS)
|9th International Frohlichs Symposium on Electrodynamic Activity of Living Cells - Including Microtubule Coherent Modes and Cancer Cell Physics
|1/07/2011 → 3/07/2011