Quantum Biology May Help Solve Some of Life’s Greatest Mysteries

In one of the University of Sheffield’s physics labs, a few hundred photosynthetic bacteria were nestled between two mirrors positioned less than a micrometer apart. Physicist David Coles and his colleagues were zapping the microbe-filled cavity with white light, which bounced around the cells in a way the team could tune by adjusting the distance between the mirrors. According to results published in 2017, this intricate setup caused photons of light to physically interact with the photosynthetic machinery in a handful of those cells, in a way the team could modify by tweaking the experimental setup.1

That the researchers could control a cell’s interaction with light like this was an achievement in itself. But a more surprising interpretation of the findings came the following year. When Coles and several collaborators reanalyzed the data, they found evidence that the nature of the interaction between the bacteria and the photons of light was much weirder than the original analysis had suggested. “It seemed an inescapable conclusion to us that indirectly what [we were] really witnessing was quantum entanglement,” says University of Oxford physicist Vlatko Vedral, a coauthor on both papers.

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Can vitamin C cure Coronavirus? scientists separate fact from fiction







Vitamin C is a common remedy that some people believe will cure a common cold and flu. Although it helps us maintain good immune function, there’s little evidence that it can prevent or substantially reduce either of these diseases. But in the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak, some “influencers” are claiming that taking mega doses of vitamin C can cure COVID-19 (the disease caused by novel coronavirus).

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Successfully Addressing the Challenges of Glycosylation










Post-translational modification is a critical step in the synthesis of biotherapeutic molecules. Among these alterations to the original naked protein, glycosylation may be the most significant and difficult to properly complete. In this roundtable, we discuss the challenges and the pitfalls involved in generating authentic glycosylated molecules in cell culture and microbial production facilities. GEN interviewed several authorities in the field of protein production, including:

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Seeing the Beautiful Intelligence of Microbes

Bacterial biofilms and slime molds are more than crude patches of goo. Detailed time-lapse microscopy reveals how they sense and explore their surroundings, communicate with their neighbors and adaptively reshape themselves.

Intelligence is not a quality to attribute lightly to microbes. There is no reason to think that bacteria, slime molds and similar single-cell forms of life have awareness, understanding or other capacities implicit in real intellect.

But particularly when these cells commune in great numbers, their startling collective talents for solving problems and controlling their environment emerge.

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