Does quantum mechanics play a non-trivial role in life?

Abstract
There have been many claims that quantum mechanics plays a key role in the origin and/or operation of biological organisms, beyond merely providing the basis for the shapes and sizes of biological molecules and their chemical affinities. These range from Schr¨odinger’s suggestion that quantum fluctuations produce mutations, to Hameroff and Penrose’s conjecture that quantum coherence in microtubules is linked to consciousness. I review some of these claims in this paper, and discuss the serious problem of decoherence. I advance some further conjectures about quantum information processing in bio-systems. Some possible experiments are suggested. © 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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