Written By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND
Although quantum physics and biology are often seen as two distinct and unrelated fields, there is actually a significant overlap of these fields which has profound implications in biology. In molecular biology we tend to focus on the physical interactions between molecules and these pathways are described in a lock and key model. In other words, the shape of one molecule is such that it is able to physically interact with a receptor and trigger a metabolic pathway. From the biology perspective we tend to disregard any other interaction as noise. Therefore if the molecule is not present then there will be no stimulation of the pathway.
On an intuitive level this makes sense, a stimulus is necessary for a pathway to become active. However, this reductionist view point is simply insufficient when quantum physics is taken into account and these are not incompatible theories! My background is in molecular biology and biochemistry and I am by no means an expert in quantum physics however these basic experiments provide intriguing information that clearly applies to biology.
Every molecule has properties of both waves and particles. This is best characterized by the famous double slit experiment.
If each electron is sent individually and if it is sent as a particle you would expect it to show a distinct pattern forming only 2 bands. If it is a particle going in a direct path there should be no interference pattern and it should form two distinct bands because it only has two possible paths.
If it was a wave then we would expect some waves to interfere with each other and others to add together. This is best visualized by looking at how you would expect a wave to behave in the double slit experiment and this is exactly how you would expect a ripple in a pond to behave.
The only explanation for why the wave pattern would be observed is that the electron is actually acting as a wave. These means that they are not fixed as wave or particles, they actually have characteristics of both. To better understand this concept I would highly recommend watching this brief video clip which effectively demonstrates how this experiment works.
We know this applies to small molecules and subatomic particles but what many people do not realize is that this also applies to larger molecules as well. Under the correct experimental conditions it is possible to get a molecule called a bucky ball to behave like a wave and demonstrate the exact same interference pattern on a double slit experiment. This is a huge molecule and it is much smaller than many compounds used in chemical signalling.
Think about how profound that is for a moment. A molecule this size is able to spontaneously change back and forth between being a wave and a particle. This implies that some of the most critical signalling compounds in your cells can spontaneously disappear and reappear. How you (“the observer”) choose perceive the particle influences its behaviour. No matter how you look at this information, what is clear is that biology has suddenly become much more complicated and this is a realm of science that has barely been explored.
What is particularly interesting about these experiments that investigate quantum physics is that the simple act of observing the experiment influences the results. In other words if you try to observe the particle it will act like a particle, in the absence of observation it tends to act more as a wave. This implies that we have much more of an influence on these biological pathways than previously thought. There is no reason to think that we would not have such an influence on much physically smaller but vitally important chemical signals in the body. Even if you argue that only a incredibly small fraction are influenced (for example 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000 molecules) this is still a massive number that has profound implications with our health. This is a new concept that has barely been explored by the medical community as quantum physics and biology tend to remain distant fields of study despite these obvious connections.
In my practice as a Naturopathic doctor I work exclusively with oncology patients and I have always believed that spontaneous remissions and incredible responses to therapy are connected in some way to the patients energy. When we look at the this exciting field of quantum biology, it brings us one step closer to unveiling the mechanism of action for these cases previously described as miracles in the literature.
Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com