The adventure continues as we delve into the groundbreaking new studies that are changing everything we think we know about DNA!
A WHOLE NEW WAY OF LOOKING AT THINGS
Is there a part of you that ‘feels’ true, in a mystical sense, but you can’t prove any of it?
Has another part of you been conditioned to shove these feelings aside with skeptical sarcasm?
When times get rough, do you mock these mystical feelings with cliches like "this is the real world", "that’s just the way it is" and "you’re not dealing with reality"?
What would it take to change your mind?
AWAKENING FROM THE ADDICTION
We now have voluminous proof that the Universe is far more than a simple three-dimensional construct.
Many of us are now awakening from this ‘addiction’ to 3D — all the things we can directly perceive with our five senses as ‘physical matter’.
We cannot see the air we’re breathing right now unless it has dust, smoke or some other particles flying through it.
We can’t see the energy coming off a magnet, but we never worry about whether they will hold our papers up on the refrigerator.
We can’t see satellite TV, radio or cell-phone signals, but we regularly descramble them to form words and pictures.
More and more scientists are warming to the idea that ‘physical’ matter is being maintained, moment to moment, by an influx of ‘zero point energy’ or quantum fields.
It can be clearly demonstrated that DNA is also responding to fields the mainstream has not yet acknowledged.
Consider this excerpt from "Quantum Phenomena in Biology," at http://twm.co.nz/quant_biology.htm:
These experimental findings about DNA control of cellular processes mediated by electromagnetic/quantum mechanical mechanisms have not been considered by biotechnology researchers. They introduce important new elements that radically change our understanding of the workings of DNA.
Most importantly, they seriously undermine the present biotechnological dogma where DNA is treated as a micro-object that is "clipped" and "glued". Instead, so far completely unknown Quantum Wave aspects have been found to be involved that may radically change our understanding of what happens in genetic engineering.
This reveals another aspect of the great incompleteness of the knowledge of present biotechnology.
Researchers at IBM Corp., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley and Oxford University earlier this month reported they have for the first time had succeeded in building the first working computers based on the principles of quantum mechanics, a branch of physics that describes the quirky world of subatomic particles where both yes and no can simultaneously be true.
In a long-sought breakthrough, the scientists were able to fashion a novel computer in which the processor consisted of atoms of hydrogen and chlorine and used it to sort an unordered list of items.
The discovery has touched off a wave of excitement among physicists and computer scientists and is leading dozens of research centers worldwide to embark on similar experiments heralding the advent of an era of so-called quantum computers, specialized machines that may one day prove thousands or even millions of times faster than today’s most powerful supercomputers…
The new advances are particularly impressive because as recently as two years ago the consensus among most researchers in the field was that quantum computing was a theoretical, but not practical, possibility.
Unlike today’s conventional computers which are assembled from arrays of millions of digital switches that can be rapidly switched on and off, quantum computers are assembled from molecule-sized units known as qubits. While today’s digital transistors represent either a 1 or a 0, a qubit can represent 1, 0 or potentially many other states simultaneously.
Quantum physicists call this "superposition," and potentially there are an infinite number of possible superposition states. The researchers say that while a classical computer bit can be either black or white, a qubit could simultaneously take on all of the colors of the spectrum. Thus a quantum computer could do many calculations simultaneously.
In the past year a number of groups struck upon the idea of using nuclear magnetic resonance techniques, which are now widely used to study the structure of molecules and to measure magnetic fields, to overcome one fundamental stumbling block: how to read information into and out of a quantum computer.
According to ordinary quantum rules, observation tends to alter the outcome of a quantum event, reading a computer’s output would destroy the superposition that makes it work. But by using magnetic resonance techniques to observe vast numbers of molecules at once, the effect of quantum measurements are canceled…
Specialized applications might ultimately include computers capable of… permitting computer codebreakers to successfully attack even the most impenetrable cryptographic systems…
And because the emergence of quantum computers could have a profound impact on modern cryptography, the National Security Agency is funding research in the field at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
October 29, 2003:
A research team in Japan says it has successfully demonstrated for the first time in the world in a solid-state device one of the two basic building blocks that will be needed to construct a viable quantum computer.
The team has built a controlled NOT (CNOT) gate, a fundamental building block for quantum computing in the same way that a NAND gate is for classical computing.
Research into quantum computers is still in its early days and experts predict it will be at least 10 years before a viable quantum computer is developed. But if they can be developed, quantum computers hold the potential to revolutionize some aspects of computing because of their ability to calculate in a few seconds what might take a classical supercomputer millions of years to accomplish.
The team reporting the breakthrough is headed by Tsai Jaw-Shen and jointly funded by NEC Corp. and Japan’s Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN). Tsai said his team has successfully demonstrated a CNOT gate in a two-qubit (quantum bit) solid-state device.
The CNOT gate is one of two gates used with quantum bits (qubits) that are the basic building blocks required for a quantum computer. The other, a one-qubit rotation gate, was demonstrated by Tsai’s team in 1999. Now that both have been demonstrated, Tsai says one of his goals is to combine them to create something called a universal gate which is a basic unit of a quantum computer.
"Another goal is to do some quantum algorithms based on this," he said.
One of the biggest tasks Tsai says he faces is extending the time for which the two qubits are coupled together in a state known as quantum entanglement. In this state, which is one of several exotic properties associated with qubits and crucial to quantum computing, the two qubits act together even though they are not physically connected.
Tsai announced in February this year that his team has succeeded in entangling a pair of qubits.
Among the startling properties of qubits is that they do not just hold either binary 1 or binary 0, but can hold a superposition of the two states simultaneously. As the number of qubits grows, so does the number of distinct states which can be represented by entangled qubits. Two qubits can hold four distinct states which can be processed simultaneously, three qubits can hold eight states, and so on in an exponential progression.
So a system with just 10 qubits could carry out 1,024 operations simultaneously as though it were a massively parallel processing system. A 40-qubit system could carry out one trillion simultaneous operations. A 100-qubit system could carry out one trillion trillion simultaneous operations.
That means calculations, such as working out the factors of prime numbers, which present problems for even the fastest supercomputers could be trivialized by a quantum computer. As an example Tsai estimated that using the Shor Algorithm to factor a 256-bit binary number, a task that would take 10 million years using something like IBM Corp.’s Blue Gene supercomputer, could be accomplished by a quantum computer in about 10 seconds.
However, there are numerous hurdles which need to be overcome before anything like that becomes possible. The largest problem Tsai faces at present is keeping the qubit pair in entanglement for as long as possible before decoherence sets in.
"Fighting the decoherence time is the largest problem," he said. "For other problems there are some solutions and lots of possibilities but the decoherence is more difficult."
"The decoherence time (observed in the experiment) is rather short," he said. "We didn’t optimize it so its roughly a few hundred picoseconds. (A picosecond is a trillionth of a second) A CNOT time pulse is about 15 picoseconds so within that time we can do a few operations, maybe two or something."
Despite the hurdles, Tsai’s research is going well, said Eiichi Maruyama, director of the Frontier Research System at RIKEN. He said its still hard to estimate when a viable quantum computer might be developed however. "Our guess is anywhere between 10 years and 100 years from now," he said.
Full details of Tsai’s experiment are included in the Oct. 30 edition of the British scientific journal Nature.
February 16, 2007:
In a move that could signal a massive leap forward in unlocking some of the most complex mysteries of our world, D-Wave Systems has demonstrated what it called the world’s first commercially viable quantum computer.
The theories behind quantum computing have been around for decades, and the first real-world delivery of quantum computing was expected to take decades more. D-Wave, however, demonstrated a functioning prototype quantum computer in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday at the Computer History Museum.
The small Vancouver, Canada-based company plans to deliver field-deployable systems as early as 2008.
A quantum computer is similar to a supercomputer in that it’s designed to handle massive computations of very complex problems — but that’s where the similarity ends.
Traditional computing is based on the manipulation of bits, which are always read as either a 0 or a 1. Quantum computing is based on a qubit, which can be a 0, 1, or both at the same time. While that’s a confusing enough concept on its own, it comes from quantum mechanics, where subatomic particles can persist in two or more states at once.
Theoretically, qubits are the keys that let quantum computers have the potential to make billions of calculations exponentially faster than traditional computers.
Right now, D-Wave’s Orion system only contains 16 qubits, which means it’s far less "powerful" than traditional computers. However, the company plans to introduce a 512-qubit processor, followed by a 1,024-qubit processor in 2008.
If D-Wave is successful, Orion will be able to solve what are known as "NP-complete" problems, which are problems where the sheer volume of complex data and variables prevent digital computers from generating answers, the company said. For example, Orion could be able to precisely model complex molecules, which in turn could jump start nanotechnology.
In order to be useful, however, D-Wave needs software applications that can take advantage of quantum computing. For that reason, D-Wave plans to offer free access later this year to one of its Orion systems to people who want to either develop or port applications to it. Plus, the company is actively looking for business partners.
Because Orion must be kept refrigerated and isolated from outside influences that could disrupt its computations, the company only remotely accessed the system in its demonstration. Likewise, D-Wave hasn’t proven Orion’s exact nature to the scientific community, but may release details for scientific peer review. At that point, scientists can argue over the finer points of quantum mechanics and if Orion is truly a "quantum computer."
Regardless of scientific names and labels, what if it works? What will it mean for the current IT world?
"Quantum computing was supposed to be decades into the future," Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told TechNewsWorld. "The problem for IT is that Quantum level processing is capable of breaking virtually every level of encryption currently used by shear force, and it is a game changer in terms of total processing power."
Basically, this means quantum computing will likely have the ability to crack every password currently used in the modern IT landscape. While our computer-based secrets are safe for now, they might not be in a few years, which may require a massive hardware change in a 6- to 10-year time frame.
"In short, this could predict one of the most disruptive changes we have seen since the PC hit the IT space," Enderle noted. "It will happen faster, and it will be a lot more painful."
December 5, 2006:
Quantum computing will never work. At least, that’s the view of one physicist who thinks that unavoidable noise will always stand in its way.
In theory, a quantum computer could be far more powerful than any existing device. Making it work, however, means protecting the quantum particles used in its calculations from the disrupting noise of the outside world. To date, this has been achieved only for a few particles for fractions of a second. A useful device would have to be noiseless for far longer, and use hundreds or thousands of particles.
Michael Dyakonov of the University of Montpellier in France believes this feat is akin to achieving perpetual motion. It has been assumed till now that errors caused by noise can be fixed. In reality, Dyakonov argues, such errors would grow far too rapidly with the number of particles, making correction impractical…
Others think Dyakonov has got it wrong. "It is true that the quantum computing community should be cautiously optimistic, rather than confident," says Andrew Steane of the University of Oxford. "But his arguments are largely misleading."
February 14, 2007:
D-Wave’s computer is based around a silicon chip that houses 16 "qubits," the equivalent of a storage bit in a conventional computer, connected to each other. Each qubit consists of dots of the element niobium surrounded by coils of wire.
When electrical current comes down the wire, magnetic fields are generated, which, in turn, causes the change in the state of the qubit. Because scientists understand how niobium will react to magnetic fields and calculate the exact pattern and timing of the magnetic fields created, the pattern of changes exhibited by the niobium can then be translated into an answer that humans can understand.
At the demonstration, Rose had the system come up with answers to Sudoku problems and, in another demo, seek out similar molecules to the active ingredient in the drug Prilosec in a chemical database. The computer found several molecules that shared similar structural elements with Prilosec, but the molecule that matched it closest was the active ingredient in another drug called Nexium. Plucking out Nexium demonstrated the system’s accuracy, the company said. Nexium is actually a mirror image of the molecule in Prilosec that AstraZeneca invented to extend its patents.. .
The computer itself–which is cooled down to 4 millikelvin (or nearly minus 273.15 degrees Celsius) with liquid helium–was actually in Canada. Attendees only saw the results on a screen. Still, it was the largest demonstration of a quantum computer ever, Rose said.
By the end of the year, however, D-Wave will have a 32-qubit system. It plans to begin to rent out time on its computers to corporate customers in the first quarter of next year, said CEO Herb Martin. Customer won’t have to learn special programming techniques or other tricks to take advantage of the service; sending a problem to D-Wave will be similar to outsourcing it to any other company. Later, D-Wave may lease or sell computers, Martin added.
By the second quarter of 2008, the company plans to have a 512-qubit system, and a 1,024-qubit system is expected by the end of that year.
August 16, 2007:
By using pulses of light to dramatically accelerate quantum computers, University of Michigan researchers have made strides in technology that could foil national and personal security threats.
It’s a leap, they say, that could lead to tougher protections of information and quicker deciphering of hackers’ encryption codes.
A new paper on the results of this research, "Coherent Optical Spectroscopy of a Strongly Driven Quantum Dot," appears in the Aug. 17 issue of Science. Duncan Steel, the Robert J. Hiller Professor at Michigan Engineering’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Physics, is one of the lead authors of the paper. Faculty from the University of California-San Diego and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., also contributed. The researchers used short, coherent pulses of light to create light-matter interactions in quantum dots—particles so small that the addition or deletion of electrons changes their properties. They found they could control the frequency and phase shifts in the optical network, which is crucial in powering an optically driven quantum computer, Steel said.
Optically driven quantum computers can crack highly encrypted codes in seconds. The fastest of today’s desktop computers would require 20 years.
Part of what makes quantum computers so fast is that they are multitask masters.
"Quantum computers are capable of massive parallel computations," Steel said. "That’s why these machines are so fast."
And the technology the researchers used to power them in this study is relatively cheap.
"We’re particularly excited about our findings because they show that we can achieve these results by using quantum dots and readily available, relatively inexpensive optical telecommunications technology to drive quantum computers," Steel said. "Quantum dots replace transistors in these computers, and our results show that it only takes a few billionths of a watt to drive it."
U-M researchers are using quantum dot systems to pave the way for numerous quantum level applications, such as quantum dot dressed state lasers, optical modulators and quantum logic devices.
This discovery in quantum dot spectroscopy is an important stepping stone to building a quantum computer for the future. Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between light and matter.
Quantum computers have the potential for solving certain types of problems much faster than classical computers. Speed and efficiency are gained because quantum bits can be placed in superpositions of one and zero, as opposed to classical bits, which are either one or zero. Moreover, the logic behind the coherent nature of quantum information processing often deviates from intuitive reasoning, leading to some surprising effects…
Quantum interrogation is a technique that makes use of wave-particle duality (in this case, of photons) to search a region of space without actually entering that region of space.
October 2, 2007:
Going from here to there doesn‘t always mean passing through points in between, despite what philosophers might say. Quantum objects have more mysterious ways to get around.
Masum Rab and colleagues at the University of Melbourne in Australia used quantum theory to explore how waves of atoms can move between three boxes separated by impenetrable barriers. Ordinarily, a quantum particle starting at one end will tunnel through the first barrier, move into the middle box, and spend some time there before tunnelling through the second barrier to reach the third box.
But not always. Under some conditions, Rab‘s team found, particles can skip the middle box. The team built a computer model of the movement through a Bose-Einstein condensate, an ultracold cloud of thousands of atoms, through three such boxes. By slowly changing the strength of the two barriers, they could make the waves in the middle box cancel each other out. As a consequence, only a few atoms ever occupied the middle box (www.arxiv.org/abs/0709.0985). “They go from the first to the third box, ” says Rab, “without transiting through the middle. ”
The effect, the physicists point out, is distinct from quantum teleportation, which destroys an object in one position, while creating a replica of it at another. This technique, dubbed “transport without transit ”, involves real movement of particles, and may be useful for controlling matter waves – quite aside from confounding philosophers.
Could information be stored directly in the quantum field? The theoretical problems around "quantum RAM" have now already been worked out:
August 21, 2007:
In the fundamentally fuzzy world of quantum mechanics, it can be difficult to keep clear memories, and that could be a problem for future quantum computers.
Now three physicists in Italy and the US have proposed a method for retrieving quantum information from memory that should make total quantum recall more reliable.
Quantum computers have the potential to do some kinds of calculation with unprecedented speed, as small-scale demonstrations have confirmed. However, to perform most of these calculations effectively these machines will eventually need to access something resembling random access memory (RAM) – a large store of quantum information that can be selectively accessed.
Ordinary RAM contains a large array of memory cells, each holding one bit of information – a binary 0 or 1. To check the contents of particular cell, a computer accesses it using its address – a string of bits that identifies the cell’s location.
How this works physically is that all the cells are connected up to a branching tree of connections, with switches on each branch. The address bits open and close these switches in a way that leaves just one path along the tree open, connecting to the target memory cell.
A quantum computer uses not bits but qubits, which can be a blend of 0 and 1 – a quantum superposition of the two states. Therefore, in quantum RAM, the address qubits would not identify a single memory cell but a certain superposition of all possible memory cells.
However, if a quantum-computer designer were to copy how classical RAM is accessed, they would hit a problem, according to a paper posted online by Vittorio Giovannetti of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and colleagues.
This is because an address qubit would control a lot of switches simultaneously at each level of the RAM memory tree. With so many quantum systems linked together, or "entangled", they would become highly susceptible to interference from the environment. Their delicate quantum states would get scrambled, and the information would be lost before it can be retrieved.
A quantum computer built this way would come up blank every time it tried to retrieve something from its memory.
Giovannetti’s idea is to send the address down the branching tree of connections in such a way that it only affects one switch at a time.
The first address qubit sets a switch at the first branching point to go one way or the other; the second qubit is sent that way and sets the switch at the next branching point, and so on. The total number of entangled quantum systems is smaller, and they are not so susceptible to interference, allowing information to be retrieved from memory intact.
"It’s a good idea," says quantum computing expert Charles Bennett, of IBM’s Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, US, although he has reservations.
"I think the advantage of the proposed scheme over conventional addressing is less clear-cut than the authors suggest," Bennett told New Scientist. This is partly because some conventional addressing schemes do not require all switches to be flipped at once, and also because even inactive switches might contribute to interference, he says.
A clue to understanding life is the realisation that its dynamics are different than those that rule the non-living. For inanimate objects, the dynamics we see are the product of the disordered motion of billions of particles; they are a kind of average dynamics.
At the macroscopic level we see patterns and order, but at the molecular level there is only chaos. But life is different. Inside living cells, there is order right down to the level of that single molecule that governs the form of every creature that lives or has ever lived: DNA. Living dynamics are not a product of chaos but of the highly structured action directed by the molecular ringmaster: DNA.
This single particle dynamics brings life under the sway of that most strange of sciences: quantum mechanics. Many people are familiar with the peculiarities of Einstein‘s theory of relativity – bending of time and space – but it is less well known that he also helped to found that other triumph of 20th century physics – quantum mechanics. And quantum mechanics is so strange that even he could never accept its implications…
Profesor Anton Zeilinger’s group in Vienna have recently demonstrated that the fullerene molecule, composed of 60 carbon atoms (the famous ‘buckyball‘), can pass through two slits simultaneously.
Few physicists doubt that as the technology advances, bigger and more complex systems will be shown to inhabit the quantum world. Fullerene molecules are spheres with a diameter similar to that of the DNA double helix. If fullerene can enter the quantum multiverse then DNA may do the same…
We have observed de Broglie wave interference of the buckminsterfullerene C60 with a wavelength of about 3 pm through diffraction at a SiNx absorption grating with 100 nm period. This molecule is the by far most complex object revealing wave behaviour so far. The buckyball is the most stable fullerene with a mass of 720 atomic units, composed of 60 tightly bound carbon atoms.
When Watson and Crick unveiled their double helix more than half a century ago they pointed out that mutations may be caused by a phenomenon known as DNA base tautomerisation.
Tautomerisation is essentially a chemist‘s way of describing a quantum mechanical property of fundamental particles: that they can be in two or more places at one.
Quantum mechanics tells us that the protons in DNA that form the basis of DNA coding are not specifically localised to certain positions but must be smeared out along the double helix. But these different positions for the coding protons correspond to different DNA codes. At the quantum mechanical level, DNA must exist in a superposition of mutational states.
If these particles can enter quantum states then DNA may be able to slip into the quantum multiverse and sample multiple mutations simultaneously. But what makes it drop out of the quantum world?
Most physicists agree that systems enter quantum states when they become isolated from their environment and pop out of the multiverse when they exchange significant amounts of energy with their environment, an interaction that is termed ‘quantum measurement‘.
Cells may enter quantum states when they are unable to divide and replicate – perhaps they can‘t utilise a particular substrate in their environment. They may collapse out of those quantum states when their DNA superposition includes a mutation that allows them to grow and replicate once more.
In this way the environment interacts with, and performs a quantum measurement on the cell, to precipitate advantageous mutations. From our viewpoint, inhabiting only one universe, the cell appears to ‘choose‘ certain mutations.
But is there any evidence for this? When John Cairns of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston set out to test the dogma that mutations occur at the same rate whether or not they provided an advantage, he found that things were not so simple.
Cairns examined bacteria that were deficient in their ability to utilise the milk sugar lactose. When he exposed these bacteria to conditions in which lactose was the only food source, they starved. The cells did not die but instead went into a kind of suspended animation state, called dormancy.
Dormancy was a well-known phenomenon so Cairns was not surprised to find that his bacteria managed to survive in this state for many weeks. What did come as a surprise was the discovery that, after a lag period of a day or two, several of his bacterial cells managed to grow and replicate.
These replicating cells had acquired a mutation that allowed them to feed on the lactose. What was even more surprising was his observation that the cells only acquired these lactose-eating mutations when lactose was available.
Could bacteria somehow sense that if they modified the DNA of particular genes then they would be able to grow and replicate on lactose and somehow change just the right piece of DNA to achieve that aim? These mutations on demand were termed adaptive mutations, as they suggested that bacterial cells could choose to mutate just those genes they needed to adapt and survive.
Cairn‘s observations were published in 1988 in the prestigious science journal Nature, and unleashed a storm of controversy. More than a decade later the dust has yet to settle. It is now clear that there were some problems in Cairn‘s original experimental design that meant he missed some of the mutations that did indeed occur in other genes. Yet the phenomenon of adaptive mutations persists and has been detected in a wide range of microbes and even in animal cells.
One of the most impressive demonstrations was from Barry Hall of Rochester University who demonstrated that two sites on bacterial chromosome just a few bases apart, were subject to widely different mutation rates, dependent on whether the mutations were adaptive or not.
Hall suggested that adaptive mutations are responsible for the rapid rise of drug resistance in bacterial pathogens and even the acquisition of multiple mutations that lead to cancer in animal cells including our own.
Adaptive mutations is still one of the most controversial topics in genetics and provokes the most heated exchanges at conferences. Many scientists simply refuse to believe in their existence. Yet, something new seems to be needed to account for the ease by which some bacteria rapidly acquire multiple mutations.
Mutant strains of the TB bacillus have suddenly appeared with resistance to almost every drug available. But how they have so rapidly accumulated so many mutations is a mystery. Unlike many other resistant bacteria that have picked up a package of drug-resistance genes by capturing a new genetic element, the TB bacillus has acquired each resistance by successive mutations – as many as ten independent mutations in a strain recently isolated from Spain.
Nobody knows yet whether these mutations are adaptive in the Cairns sense, but it is hard to otherwise account for their sudden emergence. Adaptive mutations take place when cells are not growing and TB is the champion of bacterial dormancy, able to lie low in a host for years or decades.
In my laboratory we recently found a high rate of drug-resistance mutations in a close relative of the TB bacillus when it was incubated for many weeks in non-growing conditions. We have not so far managed to repeat these experiments with TB, but they do suggest that this group of bacteria may be capable of adaptive mutations.
The problem with adaptive mutations is that no one can figure a way that information can travel backwards from the environment to DNA, to mutate certain genes. Myself and a physicist colleague, Jim Al-Khalili, recently proposed a novel solution: that DNA may exist in quantum states that are able to sample multiple mutational states simultaneously.
McFadden, JJ and Al-Khalili (1999). A quantum mechanical model of adaptive mutations. Biosystems 50: 203-211.
Quantum superposition is one of the weirdest aspects of a weird science. It is a product of the wave-particle duality that quantum physicists tell us underlies the basic building blocks of matter.
Quantum mechanics is the most thoroughly tested science in human history and no experiment has deviated by one iota from its predictions.
But when will DNA emerge from its quantum state? The borderline between the quantum world and our own is one of the most mysterious aspects of physics but most scientists agree that quantum systems collapse when they become more complex.
Our bacterial DNA, existing in a superposition of mutational states will crash out of the quantum world when one of the possible mutations allows it to grow and replicate on lactose, to generate lots of daughter cells. However, when lactose is not available, those same mutations will no longer provide the capacity to grow, so the cell‘s DNA will remain in the quantum state indefinitely.
Without lactose, the lactose-eating mutation will be no more likely than any other mutation, but with lactose present, that same mutation will constantly pop the cell out of its quantum state to allow it to form the mutant colonies that Cairn‘s observed. From our macroscopic viewpoint, the cell will appear to choose its own fate.
Proposing that DNA or cells choose their destiny may appear nonsensical, and it is certainly not intended to imply any kind of conscious choice in simple cells. However, even classical science has a problem with what we call ‘conscious choice‘ or free will.
According to Newtonian mechanics, future events are entirely determined by what happened before. We may believe we make decisions but classical deterministic science tells us that we are fooling ourselves. Our destiny and every action we make are determined by a series of previous events whose ultimate source is the Big Bang.
Quantum mechanics allows an escape from this gloomy outlook because quantum systems are not entirely deterministic. Although bacteria are certainly not conscious and do not know that they are making a decision, I believe those same quantum dynamics – though involving electromagnetic fields rather than DNA – are responsible for what we call our ‘free will‘.
This new phenomenon — the DNA phantom effect — was first observed in Moscow at the Russian Academy of Sciences as a surprise effect during experiments measuring the vibrational modes of DNA in solution using a sophisticated and expensive "MALVERN" laser photon correlation spectrometer (LPCS) . These effects were analyzed and interpreted by Gariaev and Poponin .
The new feature that makes this discovery distinctly different from many other previously undertaken attempts to measure and identify subtle energy fields  is that the field of the DNA phantom has the ability to be coupled to conventional electromagnetic fields of laser radiation and as a consequence, it can be reliably detected and positively identified using standard optical techniques…
The background leading to the discovery of the DNA phantom and a description of the experimental set up and conditions will be helpful. A block diagram of the laser photon correlation spectrometer used in these experiments is presented in Figure 1.
In each set of experimental measurements with DNA samples, several double control measurements are performed. These measurements are performed prior to the DNA being placed in the scattering chamber.
When the scattering chamber of the LPCS is void of physical DNA, and neither are there are any phantom DNA fields present, the autocorrelation function of scattered light looks like the one shown in Figure 2a.
This typical control plot represents only background random noise counts of the photomultiplier. Note that the intensity of the background noise counts is very small and the distribution of the number of counts per channel is close to random.
Figure 2b demonstrates a typical time autocorrelation function when a physical DNA sample is placed in the scattering chamber, and typically has the shape of an oscillatory and slowly exponentially decaying function.
When the DNA is removed from the scattering chamber, one anticipates that the autocorrelation function will be the same as before the DNA was placed in the scattering chamber.
Surprisingly and counter-intuitively it turns out that the autocorrelation function measured just after the removal of the DNA from the scattering chamber looks distinctly different from the one obtained before the DNA was placed in the chamber.
Two examples of the autocorrelation functions measured just after the removal of the physical DNA are shown in Figures 2c and d.
After duplicating this many times and checking the equipment in every conceivable way, we were forced to accept the working hypothesis that some new field structure is being excited from the physical vacuum.
We termed this the DNA phantom in order to emphasize that its origin is related with the physical DNA.
We have not yet observed this effect with other substances in the chamber.
After the discovery of this effect we began a more rigorous and continuous study of this phenomena. We have found that, as long as the space in the scattering chamber is not disturbed, we are able to measure this effect for long periods of time. In several cases we have observed it for up to a month.
It is important to emphasize that two conditions are necessary in order to observe the DNA phantoms. The first is the presence of the DNA molecule and the second is the exposure of the DNA to weak coherent laser radiation. This last condition has been shown to work with two different frequencies of laser radiation…
Perhaps the most important finding of these experiments is that they provide an opportunity to study the vacuum substructure on strictly scientific and quantitative grounds. This is possible due to the phantom field’s intrinsic ability to couple with conventional electromagnetic fields…
This model is suggested as the basis for a more general nonlinear quantum theory which may explain many of the observed subtle energy phenomena and eventually could provide a physical theory of consciousness.
According to our current hypothesis, the DNA phantom effect may be interpreted as a manifestation of a new physical vacuum substructure which has been previously overlooked. It appears that this substructure can be excited from the physical vacuum in a range of energies close to zero energy provided certain specific conditions are fulfilled which are specified above.
Furthermore, one can suggest that the DNA phantom effect is a specific example of a more general category of electromagnetic phantom effects . This suggests that the electromagnetic phantom effect is a more fundamental phenomenon which can be used to explain other observed phantom effects including the phantom leaf effect and the phantom limb …
About the detection of the "DNA Phantom effect":
Peter Gariaev has seen the effect for the first time in 1985, when he worked with correlation spectroscopy of DNA, ribosomes and collagen in the Institute of physics/techniques problems Acad. Sci. of the USSR.
However, to publish it, was possible only in 1991 (Gariaev P.P., Chudin V.I., Komissarov G.G., Berezin A.A., Vasiliev A.A., 1991, Holographic Associative Memory of Biological Systems, Proceedings SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering. Optical Memory and Neural Networks. v.1621, p.280- 291. USA.), and then in (Gariaev P.P., "Wave based genome", Ed. Obsh. Pl‘za, 279p. In Russian (1994)), where the biggest chapter of the book is devoted to this effect.
These independently research approaches also lead to the postulate, that the liquid crystal phases of the chromosome apparatus (the laser mirror analogues) can be considered as a fractal environment to store the localized photons, so as to create a coherent continuum of quantum-nonlocally distributed polarized radio wave genomic information.
To a certain extent, this corresponds with the idea of the genome’s quantum-nonlocality, postulated earlier, or to be precise, with a variation of it…
Further experimental research has revealed the high biological (genetic) activity of such radio waves, when generated under the right conditions by DNA. For example, by means of such artificially produced DNA radiations, the super fast growth of potatoes (up to 1 cm per day) has been achieved, together with dramatic changes of morphogenesis resulting in the formation of small tubers not on rootstocks but on stalks.
The same radiations also turned out to be able to cause a statistically authentic "resuscitation" of dead seeds of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which were taken from the Chernobyl area in 1987. By contrast, the monitoring of irradiations by polarized radio waves, which do not carry information from the DNA, is observed to be biologically inactive…
Remarkably too, quantum holography also confirms and is confirmed by another astonishing experimental finding. This is the so-called "DNA-Phantom-Effect" [Gariaev, Junin, 1989; Gariaev et al, 1991; Gariaev, 1994], a very intriguing phenomenon, widely discussed, when it was first found by Peter Gariaev. Later similar phenomenon termed “mimicking the effect of dust ” [Allison et al, 1990]. was detected by group of R. Pecora. [Allison S.A., Sorlie S., Pecora R., 1990, Macromolecules, v.23, 1110-1118.]
Quantum Biology link:
Dateline: June 25, 2000
Quantum physics and molecular biology are two disciplines that have evolved relatively independently. However, recently a wealth of evidence has demonstrated the importance of quantum mechanics for biological systems and thus a new field of quantum biology is emerging.
Living systems have mastered the making and breaking of chemical bonds, which are quantum mechanical phenomena.
Absorbance of frequency specific radiation (e.g. photosynthesis and vision), conversion of chemical energy into mechanical motion (e.g. ATP cleavage) and single electron transfers through biological polymers (e.g. DNA or proteins) are all quantum mechanical effects.
Hopefully, the merging of disciplines known as nanotechnology will remove the interface between quantum physics and biology…
As biologists begin to realize the importance of nanoscale phenomena to their research, quantum biology is emerging as an important discipline. At a time when numerous physicists are racing to construct quantum computers, molecular biologists may unknowingly be racing to dismantle them.
"Biology is not about applying quantum mechanics as it is already known through the experiences of traditional physics, but rather about an attempt to extend quantum mechanics in the manner that the physicists have not tried." 
Early Fosar-Bludorf article on phantom DNA:
In the year 1990 a group of scientists got together in Moscow, for whom the study of the human Genoms was too much reduced exclusively to biochemistry. They had recognized that by this viewpoint, which is based rather on orthodox dogmatism than on objective scientific realizations a lot of information remains hidden to us.
Highly-qualified scientists belong to this group, to a large extent from the Russian Academy of Sciences. Beside physicists of the renowned Lebedev institute also molecular biologists participate, bio physicists, geneticists, embryologists and linguists. Director of the project is Dr. Pjotr Garjajev, a bio physicist and molecular biologist. He is member of the Russian Academy of Sciences as well as of the Academy of Sciences in New York.
In the eight years since establishment of the project the Muscovite group came to revolutionary realizations, which let our understanding of the DNA and the human genetics appear in a completely new light.
For example we speak today nearly naturally of the :