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Mselves with such precision Life on the Edge accessibly reveals how uantum mechanics can answer these probing uestions of the universe Guiding the reader through the rapidly unfolding discoveries of the last few years Al Khalili and McFadden communicate the excitement of the explosive new field of uantum biology and its potentially revolutionary applications while offering insights into the biggest puzzle of all what is life As they brilliantly demonstrate in these groundbreaking pages life exists on the uantum ed. absolutely stunning a book that with often beautiful prose describes key concepts of uantum physics and uantum biology in a way that is detailed and not oversimplified but still able to be understood by a layperson such as myself who doesn t even have an A level in physics a fascinating exploration of what is potentially the most exciting groundbreaking field of science presently

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Life on the Edge

Life is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the known universe; but how did it come to be Even in an age of cloning and artificial biology the remarkable truth remains nobody has ever made anything living entirely out of dead material Life remains the only way to make life Are we still missing a vital ingredient in its creation      Like Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene which provided a new perspective on how evolution works Life on the Edge alters our understanding of our world's fundamental dynamics Bringi. McFadden and Al Khalili explore the role of uantum mechanics in living organisms This new field of uantum biology is finding that life lies on the edge between classical and uantum physics thus the title of the book The authors do not believe in any spiritual or mystical influences rather they dig deeply into biochemistry They identify specific situations in which the uantum properties of electrons and protons influence organic processes McFadden and Al Khalili explain without math the relevant attributes of the uantum world wave particle duality uantum tunneling superposition and entanglement They begin each case with a story and then delve into the chemistry and physics behind it How does the European robin find its way each year from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean and back How does the Monarch butterfly make its way across North America to its winter hideout in the mountains of Mexico Monarchs and the European robin have the protein cryptochrome enabling them to navigate using the earth s magnetic field I was struck by the fact that the monarchs that return every summer are the grandchildren of those that left The monarchs breed in route and their progeny continue the journey somehow knowing the way The authors note that many animals plants and even microbes use cryptochrome for magnetic field detection Cryptochrome contains free radicals molecules with an unpaired electron in the outer shell Particles in cryptochrome molecules can align their spin to the earth s magnetic field allowing the robins and monarchs to detect the way towards or away from the euator McFadden and Al Kahlili explain the uantum property of spin to help us understand how cryptochrome works It s counterintuitive uantum spin is not like anything we are familiar with in the macro world A particle s spin can be one direction or the other up or down or it can spin in both directions at the same time superposition Pairs of electrons forming chemical bonds become entangled so that when one changes its spin state so does the other Until measured both electrons are in superposition spinning both up and down at the same time When either one is measured both change to a single spin direction instantaneously Fascinatingly the spin of entangled particles stay coordinated even after the bond is broken and they are separated by large distances The author s explain how changes to the uantum state of spin signal to the organism the orientation of the magnetic field It s complicated The book provides the detailsMcFadden and Al Khalili illustrate the amazing complexity of life with the example of the single cell In the emerging field of synthetic biology when scientists create an amino acid or sugar they create one product at a time The authors go on This is not an easy task and reuires careful control of many different conditions inside customized flasks condensers separation columns filtration devices and other elaborate chemical apparatusesYet every cell in your body is continually synthesizing thousands of distinct biochemicals within a reaction chamber filled with just a few millionths of a microliter of fluid How do all those diverse reactions proceed concurrently And how is all this molecular action orchestrated within a microscopic cell This is a profound mysteryAmong the many important substances cells manufacture are enzymes These are protein catalysts that speed the cell s many chemical reactions For example collagenase is essential to deconstruct unneeded or damaged collagen and construct new collagen It performs its operations in nanoseconds with stunning efficiency Good to know since collagen holds our trillions of cells together Collagenase strategically places a positively charged zinc atom and a negatively charged oxygen atom to break exiting chemical bonds and form new ones But is electrical charge the only force this nanomachine uses The authors hold that uantum tunneling is also used to move electrons into position In their uantum state electrons are both particles and waves and their wave function gives them a probability of being found on the other side of a chemical barrier perhaps electric charge or just empty space The authors also hold that uantum tunneling is also used in cellular respiration an extremely complex process cells use to derive energy from food Whether life evolved to use uantum tunneling or it just was a lucky addition is debated The authors explore the details of uantum mechanics reviewing in detail the double slit experiments that show wave particle duality They also explain coherence the state in which particles maintain their uantum nature Decoherence is the state in which particles operate in a classical manner Until observed particles in the double slit experiment have coherence and take all possible routes to their destination Observation causes decoherence in the double slit experiment and one route only is taken The bustling movement of neighboring particles can also cause decoherence Thus the particles that make up living things which are densely packed have been assumed to operate as classical particles not uantum ones The author s then review experiments that show examples of coherence most notably in photosynthesis in bacteria They believe that in photosynthesis some particles are actually operating as uantum computers exploring all possible paths at once to route electrons the uickest way to their destination Again the book provides the details McFadden and Al Khalili look into the sense of smell The prevailing theory is that the olfactory receptors recognize molecules of certain shapes working like a lock and key When there is a fit the receptors signal the brain However the authors think is involved They believe the vibrational freuency in the atomic bonds of molecules distinguish what we smell Both the shape theory and the uantum level theory which may involve uantum tunneling have had holes punched in them The latest seems to be that both processes are at work Detailed explanations are in the bookThe authors explore whether uantum effects are involved DNA mutations They note the weak hydrogen bonds between base pairs of the nucleotides that make up DNA The hydrogen ion is a shared proton that normally lies closer to one of the nucleotides but rarely it moves to the other side Is this due to uantum tunneling McFadden and Al Khalili consider uantum tunneling in enzymes to be proven so why could it not also take place in DNA Could this be one cause of mutations that lead to evolutionary change The authors don t claim to have a definitive answer but clearly are intrigued by the possibility Consciousness has received a lot of attention as subject to uantum influences The authors examine a couple of specific processes but eschew telepathy and other paranormal theories The rapid firing of neurons underlies body movement and consciousness McFadden and Al Khalili look at potassium ions that move through ion channels in neuronal cell membranes at the fantastic rate of one hundred million per second They wonder whether these ions may be in coherent states with wave like properties that would foster their great speed They also consider the idea that the electromagnetic field created by all the brain s neuronal activity in turn synchronizes neuronal firing which is indicative of consciousness While they are very interested in new research on these ideas they don t reach a conclusion as to their validity The authors end by speculating about possible uantum influences in the origin of life and even how it may be applied in the creation of synthetic life There is a fair amount of speculation throughout the book but some of their assertions seem well supported and accepted They provide very detailed explanations for their positions and cite supporting experiments and concurrence by other scientists At a minimum McFadden and Al Khalili make the case for expanded research in this emerging area of study This would hardly be the first time that scientific proposals once dismissed as too far out turned out to be true

Johnjoe McFadden µ 8 characters

Ng together first hand experience at the cutting edge of science with unparalleled gifts of explanation Jim Al Khalili and Johnjoe Macfadden reveal that missing ingredient to be uantum mechanics; the phenomena that lie at the heart of this most mysterious of sciences Drawing on recent ground breaking experiments around the world each chapter in Life on the Edge engages by illustrating one of life's puzzles How do migrating birds know where to go How do we really smell the scent of a rose How do our genes copy the. What lies beyond the molecular level Where we can not see Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review Just if you might be interestedThe motor of life seems to be complicated than expected It turns out and than the previous research has observed rather only individual components of the complex machinery One or the other connection was made and a few processes were followed Only nobody knows what underlies these processes on deeper levels For example breathing heredity photosynthesis the electrical uantum activity of neurons magnetoreception consciousness sense of smell and the origin of life Moreover these are just the processes that this very young science discipline has been able to investigate so farMany observed phenomena imply levels than postulated by established research uantum field theory opens a few doors concerning this Which of the thought experiments fits the inexplicable observed anomalies will become apparent The fact that the ghostly long distance effect cannot be forced well to manifest complicates the research When nervous particles are nowhere and at two places at the same time at the same time This alone contradicts both our fundamental ideas of physics and our worldview Because it fits into the realm of myths legends and fantasy rather than serious science Also if that limit falls what is impossible What is eccentricity close to madness and what is the realityA few hypotheses can be set upThere are overlooked factors in the known three dimensions that are so tiny or so small in effect that they have not been considered beforeMore dimensions than expected From the 4th and other dimensions come interactions that allow metabolic processes photosynthesis and life in our dimension Without this connection life would not be possible Suppose that life would disappear in our dimension or another dimension Would that also destroy life in the connected dimension because the two are dependent on each otherParallel universes A parallel universe interacts with the other An unknown kind of entropy shapes the laws of nature Different variants of the principles of thermodynamics and gravitation interact between the worlds Or several parallel universes with several types of natural laws are in complex interaction For a multiverse the possibilities of variation would be infiniteSimulation Hypothesis If the uanta are some programming language the world would be made up of code Alternatively the uanta are just the coarsest fundamental building blocks under which the actual code is hidden Mistakes in programming would explain anomalies in our worldNo matter which model you prefer It could be that the emergence of life without interaction with invisible and undetectable forces is not possible That there may be universes or worlds that will forever be dead because they are not interacting with others That symbiosis and cooperation between the layers of realities were so essential that without them evolution was impossible We consist of unknown many such hypothetical processes that we do not understandThe photosynthesis of plants is based not only on sunlight but also on uantum entanglement If human beings accidentally interfere with this process through physical experiments or less subtly through genetic engineering the world would perish If the ability becomes possible only through an interaction with another dimension disturbances could make it disappearThe processes in the tiny and colossal call the sea metaphor on the plan A grain of sand knowledge and an ocean of unanswered uestions A small plant cell is a game that automates a process that reuires the hordes of the best scientists and billions of investment in large euipment Moreover the flower also manages to sustain the operation for than a few thousandths of a second It makes a living with itThe foundations of many cellular processes photosynthesis and chemical processes are currently defined from the point of view of the giant coarse constituents Like looking at a factory from the outside One can see the supply streams maybe know a few of the primary materials and see the finished end products coming out of the factory From an analysis of the smoke from the factory chimneys and the waste that arises one can make small attempts with reverse engineeringHowever what happens in the factory aka all living things can only be guessedFor human consciousness this raises the uestion of where and what the self is In the un understood brain the factor is added that unknown smallest parts or mechanisms of action from other dimensions could be significantly involved So this ego is theoretically exposed to interactions or probably manipulations and whisperings from other inaccessible realitiesWhen you make a decision talk work or think about things like thatWhether it is a one way street and the opposite direction will remain inaccessible to people like a black hole is one of the critical issues Not only concerning whether we unconsciously work in other dimensions when we think or have emotionsHowever also regarding the relativity of death If consciousness does not exist bound to 3 dimensions then why a body with some wetware in itWas liegt alles jenseits der molekularen Ebene Dort wohin wir nicht sehen k nnenDer Motor des Lebens scheint diffiziler aufgebaut zu sein als angenommen Es stellt sich immer mehr heraus dass die bisherigen Forschungen eher nur einzelne Komponenten der komplexen Maschinerie beobachtet haben Der eine oder andere Zusammenhang wurde hergestellt und ein paar Prozesse beobachtet Nur was diesen Vorg ngen auf tieferen Ebenen zugrunde liegt wei niemand Etwa der Atmung Vererbung Fotosynthese elektrischer uantenaktivit t von Neuronen Magnetorezeption Bewusstsein Geruchssinn und dem Ursprung des LebensUnd das sind nur die Prozesse die diese sehr junge Wissenschaftsdisziplin bisher untersuchen konnteViele beobachtete Ph nomene implizieren mehr Ebenen als von der etablierten Forschung postuliert Die uantenfeldtheorie ffnet hinsichtlich dessen einige T ren Welches der Gedankenexperimente zu den unerkl rlichen beobachteten Anomalien passt wird sich zeigen Dass sich die spukhafte Fernwirkung nicht gut zur Manifestation zwingen l sst erschwert die Forschung Wenn die nerv sen Teilchen gleichzeitig nirgends und an 2 Stellen zur selben Zeit sind Alleine das widerspricht sowohl unseren fundamentalen Vorstellungen von Physik als auch unserem Weltbild Weil es viel eher in das Reich der Mythen Legenden und Fantasy als zu seri ser Wissenschaft passt Und wenn diese Grenze f llt was ist dann noch unm glich Was ist dann Spinnerei oder Wahnsinn und was Realit t Ein paar Hypothesen lassen sich aufstellenEs gibt bersehene Faktoren in den bekannten 3 Dimensionen die so klein oder in ihrer Wirkung so gering sind dass man sie bisher nicht in Betracht gezogen hatMehr Dimensionen als angenommen Aus der 4ten und weiteren Dimensionen kommen Wechselwirkungen die Stoffwechselprozesse Fotosynthese und das Leben in unserer Dimension erm glichen Ohne diese Verbindung w re Leben nicht m glich Angenommen das Leben w rde in unserer Dimension oder in einer anderen Dimension verschwinden W rde das auch das Leben in der angekoppelten Dimension zerst renParalleluniversen Ein Paralleluniversum wechselwirkt mit dem anderen Die Naturgesetze sind durch eine unbekannte Art von Entropie geformt Verschiedene Varianten der Grunds tze der Thermodynamik und Gravitation stehen zwischen den Universen in Wechselwirkung Oder mehrere Paralleluniversen mit mehreren Arten von Naturgesetzen stehen in komplexem Zusammenspiel Bei einem Multiversum w ren die Variationsm glichkeiten entsprechend unendlichSimulationshypothese Wenn die uanten eine Art von Programmiersprache sind w re die Welt aus Code zusammen gesetzt Oder die uanten sind nur die gr bsten primitiven Bausteine unter denen der eigentliche Code verborgen liegt Anomalien in unserer Welt w rden sicht mit Fehlern in der Programmierung erkl ren lassen Egal welchem Modell man den Vorzug gibt Es k nnte sein dass die Entstehung von Leben ohne eine Wechselwirkung mit unsichtbaren und noch undetektierbaren Kr ften nicht m glich ist Dass es Universen oder Welten geben mag die f r immer tot bleiben werden weil sie nicht in Wechselwirkung mit anderen stehen Dass sie Symbiose und Kooperation zwischen den Schichten der Wirklichkeiten so essentiell sind dass ohne sie keine Evolution m glich ist Wir bestehen aus unbekannt vielen solcher hypothetischer Vorg nge die wir nicht verstehen Die Fotosynthese von Pflanzen basiert nicht allein auf Sonnenlicht sondern auch auf uantenverschr nkung Wenn der Mensch aus Versehen durch physikalische Experimente oder weniger subtil durch Gentechnik diesen Prozess st rt w rde die Welt untergehen Wenn die F higkeit nur durch eine Wechselwirkung mit einer anderen Dimension m glich wird k nnten St rungen diese verschwinden lassenDie Prozesse im ganz kleinen und ganz gro en rufen die Meermetapher auf den Plan Ein Sandkorn Wissen und ein Ozean von offenen Fragen Eine winzige Pflanzenzelle automatisiert spielend einen Prozess f r den es Heerscharen der besten Wissenschaftler und Milliarden an Investitionen f r Gro ger te braucht Und die Blume schafft es auch l nger als ein paar Tausendstel Sekunden den Prozess aufrecht zu erhalten Sie lebt davonDie Grundlagen vieler zellul rer Prozesse der Fotosynthese und chemischer Vorg nge sind momentan unter dem Gesichtspunkt definiert dass man die riesigen groben Bestandteile beobachtet Wie wenn man von au en auf eine Fabrik blickt Man sieht die Zulieferstr me kennt vielleicht ein paar der Grundmaterialien und sieht die fertigen Endprodukte aus der Fabrik heraus kommen Anhand einer Analyse des Rauchs aus den Fabrikschloten und der Abf lle die anfallen kann man kleine Versuche mit Reverse Engineering anstellen Aber was in der Fabrik und in allen Lebewesen wirklich geschieht kann man nur raten F r das menschliche Bewusstsein wirft das die Frage auf wo und was das Ich eigentlich ist Im nicht verstandenen Gehirn kommt der Faktor hinzu dass unbekannte kleinste Teile oder Wirkmechanismen aus anderen Dimensionen ma geblich beteiligt sein k nnten Also ist dieses Ego theoretisch Wechselwirkungen oder theoretisch Manipulationen und Einfl sterungen aus anderen unzug nglichen Realit ten ausgesetzt Wenn man eine Entscheidung trifft redet arbeitet oder ber solche Dinge nachdenkt Ob es eine Einbahnstra e ist und die Gegenrichtung f r Menschen wie ein schwarzes Loch unzug nglich bleiben wird ist eine der Kernfragen Nicht nur hinsichtlich dessen ob wir unbewusst in anderen Dimensionen wirken wenn wir denken oder Emotionen haben Sondern auch bez glich der Relativit t des Todes Wenn das Bewusstsein nicht an 3 Dimensionen gebunden existiert warum dann an einen K rper


10 thoughts on “Life on the Edge

  1. says:

    You might think that this book has received four stars but if you know anything about uantum theory you will be aware that a uantum object ca

  2. says:

    I really appreciate well written books about science when they are written by active researchers in the field And

  3. says:

    McFadden and Al Khalili explore the role of uantum mechanics in living organisms This new field of uantum biology is finding that life lies on the edge between classical and uantum physics thus the title of the book The authors do not believe in any spiritual or mystical influences rather they dig deeply into biochemistry They identify specific situations in which the uantum properties of electrons and proton

  4. says:

    What lies beyond the mol

  5. says:

    For a long time it was believed that scientists could only study uantum mechanics at absolute zero in their labs Yet in r

  6. says:

    I have a problem with most of the new science books that I've been reading lately They really aren't saying anything new and when they do they seem to enter into woo woo land The authors demonstrate nicely how cer

  7. says:

    I absolutely loved this book The subject is fascinating and it's written in an easy to read style that is very layman friendly There's

  8. says:

    absolutely stunning a book that with often beautiful prose describes key concepts of uantum physics and uantum biology in a way that is detailed and not oversimplified but still able to be understood by a layperson such as myself who doesn’t even have an A level in physics a fascinating exploration of what is potentially the most exciting groundbreaking field of science presently

  9. says:

    A wonderful book describing wonderful thingsScience is not my strongest area in learning but this book makes clear an opaue to me part of physics which usually is understood through mathematics and specialized scientific euipment able to view or measure particles of atoms As a book written for the general reade

  10. says:

    35In general I love reading about the smallest processes in biology or physics I could read an entire book on the inner life of the mitochondria's electron transport chain and I would be enthralled I find it pretty exciting when authors want to understand the most in depth mechanisms at work in a each system I love it even if the authors take the knowledge they uncover and attempt to apply it to big systems such as networks systems biolo