Archive for the ‘sceince’ Category

Faith and Quantum Tunnelling


In the previous post Quantum World in Nature we had discussed how quantum tunnelling could connect two worlds albeit being of different worlds. An electron belongs to the world atoms and of quantum realm. It can pass through a material to jump from point A to point B in a way that seems to bypass the intervening space. How in matters of faith (I speak from Christian perspective) quantum tunneling holds out a clue  for us. Using scientific ideas it is possible how God and man could connect. Direction of science is by empirical method for example from fossil evidences to reconstruct bygone era.

In case of God time is of no consequence. He is omnipresent.

Let us examine this line from the post. ‘The electron can only make this leap through the so-called quantum tunnel if the bond is vibrating with just the right energy’. Faith can only be instilled in a reader who comes to the Word in the right spirit. Entanglement of two fundamental particles is across space while God has no space to restrict his Will being done.

When the electron leaps to the other site on the receptor as in the case of smell, it could trigger a chain reaction that ends up sending signals to the brain that the receptor has come into contact with that particular molecule.

Treat Trinity as in a Quantum realm: Word and the Spirit can exist as two entities; disappear and reappear as God as One. One day science might come up with an answer to the mysterious process of faith owes to Quantum effect. ‘Faith from the Word (Ro.10:17)

Hearing in a believing heart is powerful because heart and emotions are all engaged. When Apostle Peter addressed the crowd after the outpouring of the Spirit they were stirred up to ask,”Men and brethren what shall we do?(Ac.2:37)” Like quantum effects in the molecular centers for photosynthesis the Word and Spirit instill faith in a listener by working at multi-levels.

Quantum superposition may speed up the process of photosynthesis in a plant but faith requires conscious choice to accept the Word as true.

For those who are interested in the nature of Triune God here is my view.

God is One (De.6:4). Think of it as Will or Thought that is expressed. How shall be expressed so man may understand it? It has to be spelt out, is it not? It is the Word that accomplishes it. He is as a son who is obeying his earthly father. Since we are talking about heavenly things we shall rephrase the above as thus: God the Son obeys the Will of God, the Father. He is begotten but not created of God.

The Thought is self-conscious. God reveals to Moses as I AM THAT I AM(Ex.3:14). It has a direction. In narrative of the Bible we see it connects the nation of Israel, and gentile nations as well.

The ministry of the Word is only for man and not for angels. So in interpreting the Bible it is the Will and its focus we need to catch on. So we have God the Spirit as Inspirer and as Paraclete, the Helper. If my speech cannot be understood by others I am more like a barbarian of whom St Paul speaks as thus: ‘If I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian…’(1 Co.14:11). So role of God the Spirit is to help us understand the Will of God through the medium of the Word. Jesus manifested in the world to fulfill the Will of his Father. Jn.3:16



Read Full Post »

Scientists tell us that the way things work at quantum level are unlike what we experience in our visible world. In macroscopic world “classical” physics of Newton et al rules the roost.

Fundamental particles of the quantum realm behave in seemingly impossible ways: they can exist in two places at once, or disappear and reappear somewhere else instantly. It is so weird that ‘spooky science’ fits the label under which they operate.

Quantum processes may occur not quite so far from our ordinary world as we once thought. Quite the opposite: they might be at work behind some very familiar processes, from the photosynthesis that powers plants – and ultimately feeds us all – to the familiar sight of birds on their seasonal migrations. Quantum physics might even play a role in our sense of smell.

A well-trained human nose can distinguish between thousands of different smells. But how this information is carried in the shape of the smelly molecule is a puzzle. Many molecules that are almost identical in shape, but jigger with one by swapping around an atom or two shall have very different smells. Vanillin smells of vanilla, but eugenol, which is very similar in shape, smells of cloves. Some molecules that are a mirror image of each other – just like your right and left hand – also have different smells. But equally, some very differently shaped molecules can smell almost exactly the same. Luca Turin, a chemist at the BSRC Alexander Fleming institute in Greece observes that there are inconsistencies.

He argues that the molecule’s shape alone isn’t enough to determine its smell. He says that it’s the quantum properties of the chemical bonds in the molecule that provides the crucial information.

According to Turin’s quantum theory of olfaction, when a smelly molecule enters the nose and binds to a receptor, it allows a process called quantum tunnelling to happen in the receptor.

In quantum tunnelling, an electron can pass through a material to jump from point A to point B in a way that seems to bypass the intervening space. For the same reason in photosynthesis of plants how electrons achieve efficiency in photosynthesis owes to the same tunneling. As with the bird’s quantum compass, the crucial factor is resonance. A particular bond in the smelly molecule, Turin says, can resonate with the right energy to help an electron on one side of the receptor molecule leap to the other side. The electron can only make this leap through the so-called quantum tunnel if the bond is vibrating with just the right energy.

When the electron leaps to the other site on the receptor, it could trigger a chain reaction that ends up sending signals to the brain that the receptor has come into contact with that particular molecule. This, Turin says, is an essential part of what gives a molecule its smell, and the process is fundamentally quantum.

The strongest evidence for the theory is Turin’s discovery that two molecules with extremely different shapes can smell the same if they contain bonds with similar energies.

Turin predicted that boranes – relatively rare compounds that are hard to come by – smelled very like sulphur, or rotten eggs. He’d never smelt a borane before, so the prediction was quite a gamble.

He was right. Turin says, “Borane chemistry is vastly different – in fact there’s zero relation – to sulphur chemistry. So the only thing those two have in common is a vibrational frequency. They are the only two things out there in nature that smell of sulphur.”

While that prediction was a great success for the theory, it’s not ultimate proof.


Whether or not nature has evolved to make use of quantum phenomena to help organisms make fuel from light, tell north from south, or distinguish vanilla from clove, the strange properties of the atomic world can still tell us a lot about the finer workings of living cells.

(To be concluded)

Read Full Post »

In a consumer society junk is not any strange word. We have junk bond which is a high-yielding high-risk security, typically issued by a company seeking to raise capital quickly in order to finance a takeover. Junk food is similarly an ubiquitous word that is synonymous with obesity. What about junk DNA? Shouldn’t we look a little closer since we all carry it without being any wiser?

The completion of the first draft of the human genome sequence was announced to rapturous applause in June 2000 to those journalists gathered at the White House and at Downing Street. Craig Venter, who led one of the two teams of scientists that achieved this remarkable feat, said that having access to this information held “the potential to reduce the number of cancer deaths to zero during our lifetimes”. And President Bill Clinton claimed that “it is now conceivable that our children’s children will know the term cancer as only a constellation of stars”.

Fifteen years later, you don’t need to be a scientist to realise that this isn’t quite what has happened. So what went wrong? Are the huge promises made by Venter and others more rhetoric than reality, or is there still hope for personalised medicine?

Our genetic makeup is remarkable to say the least. We are wired for long winding march from our uncertain crawling to the present day with strengths and frailties. Progress we call it for so many visible leaps and bounds in our march. Myth of Prometheus is not merely about inventing fire but cooking which also can overload the liver from meat consumption. The bird picking on the liver of the Titan is a colourful description of liver disease from eating all those meat and at times indifferently cooked. Progress is to minimize the negative aspects of our present and maximize the plus points.

It is how we need look at genetic push for which we are carriers for the future. Your genetic code is unique to you, unless you are an identical twin. It specifies exactly why each part of your body is the way it is. But as well as controlling why your hair is brown and not black, variations to your genetic code also determine the risk you have of developing certain diseases, and why you might respond well to some drugs and not others.

The publication of the human genome sequence at the turn of the century heralded a new era of medicine, where therapies would be tailored to each person’s unique genetic code, making indiscriminate and damaging treatments like chemotherapy a thing of the past.

So, if the technology is available to sequence everyone’s genome, why don’t doctors now ask for a DNA sample as part of a routine diagnosis?

Not all junk DNA is rubbish

It’s because, over a decade after the first draft of the human genome was published, we still really don’t have any idea of what most of it actually does.

One of the most surprising outcomes of the completion of the first draft of the sequence was that there are far fewer genes found in the junk DNA. So now we scientists have a major problem. We can sequence a patient’s genome efficiently and economically, we can process the data rapidly, and we can identify changes to the DNA that are associated with the disease in question. But, in most cases, we have no idea how those changes cause the symptoms of the disease.

Cracking the code

There is now a major drive among researchers in the genomics field to develop tools to address this issue. It is known that one thing harboured in this junk DNA are switches that tell certain genes when and where in the body to turn on (this is why you only have one nose, and don’t start sprouting eyes on your elbow).

It is also known that many disease-causing changes to your DNA are found within these switches, so that a given gene doesn’t turn on or off at the right time, or turns on at the wrong time somewhere in the body where it shouldn’t be active. If the gene in question controls how cells grow, the result of the broken switch can be cancer.

However, identifying these switches and linking them to the genes they affect is not a trivial task. It requires enormously complex experiments with rare and precious tissue samples donated by patients, and then a vast amount of computing power to sequence, analyse and interpret the results.( ack: Bryony Graham of Univ. of Oxford-the conversation,Dec.2,2015)

Read Full Post »

Doctors in China were surprised to find that a young woman who had lived a normal life for more than two decades was actually missing an important part of her brain, according to a new report of her case.

The 24-year-old’s strange condition was discovered when she went to doctors because of a month long bout of nausea and vomiting. The patient told the doctors she had also experienced dizziness her entire life. She didn’t start walking until she was four and had never been able to walk steadily.

When the doctors scanned the woman’s brain, they found she had no cerebellum, a region of the brain thought to be crucial for walking and other movements. Instead, the scans showed a large hole filled with cerebrospinal fluid.

“CT and MRI scans revealed no remnants of any cerebellar tissues, verifying complete absence of the cerebellum,” the doctors wrote in the report, published Aug. 22 in the journal Brain.

“It shows that the young brain tends to be much more flexible or adaptable to abnormalities,” said Dr. Raj Narayan, chair of neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, who wasn’t involved with the woman’s case. “When a person is either born with an abnormality or at a very young age loses a particular part of the brain, the rest of the brain tries to reconnect and to compensate for that loss or absence,” Narayan said.

This remarkable ability of the brain is thought to decline with age. “As we get older, the ability of the brain to tolerate damage is much more limited,” Narayan said. “So, for example, in a 60-year-old person, if I took the cerebellum out, they would be severely impaired.” A baby falling over its head is not same as an old man falling in the bath room hitting head first.

(ack: livescience,Sept.11)


Read Full Post »