News Briefs 03-06-2009

So tired, I could fall asleep and dream the news.

Thanks Greg.

Quote of the Day:

And you can dream
So dream out loud...
And don't let the bastards grind you down.

U2, Acrobat -- from the album Achtung Baby (Amazon).

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Richard's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
11 weeks 1 day

How, c'mon. The Sphinx is a Kat.

Robin_Shadowes's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
17 hours 16 min

The famous poem by Edgar Allan Poe, narrated by the late Orson Welles to the music of Alan Parsons. Enjoy! :)

See video

DynaSoar's picture
Member since:
3 August 2005
Last activity:
4 years 43 weeks

There's nothing in the accompanying article that makes any case for quantum considerations to be needed for biology, except for the ubiquitous and therefore trivial sense that all of physical chemistry relies on it. But then all of physical chemistry does fine with only classical calculations. The recent assertion that quantum calculation can explain part of electron transfer in photosynthesis that classical cannot, and I wish them well, but even then the process involved is well known, just not the 'how'. Otherwise, all the other assertions have been found wrong if sensical, but most often nonsensical.

There are a couple of biological processes than may only be explainable if quantum processes are considered. One is the alternating conformational states of the tubulin protein that makes up the microtubule 'skeleton' of many animal cell. This kidney bean shaped protein alternately squeezes and unsqueezes, the change depending on the position of a single electron. The shifting is quantum in nature, but more relevant is the fact that the 11 or so helical strands of tubulins that make up microtubes coordinate this action into waves along the tube. There's no other known mechanism for this coordination, although the same principles of complexity and emergence that describe entire trees of fireflies flashing in synchrony can describe this. Describe, not explain. If not for this mechanism, you wouldn't be here. In many neurons there are proteins that carry neurotransmitters from the cell body, down the dendrite to the terminal buttons, where they are released into the synapse. Those proteins ride the waves on the microtubes just like the the football player pieces on those vibrating table top foot ball games. These may be better descriptions, but once you've seen those protein carriers with two legs with which they 'stand' on the tubes, the forward leg bent back at the 'knee', the rearward leg back, the circular protein body atop, the neurotransmitter package bound by a tendril to the middle of the protein, the image so immediately and perfectly fits the analogy presented that all others seem insufficient. If you can find a copy of the neuroscience 'bible', "Principles of Neural Science Third Edition" Kandel, Jessel & Schwartz, there's a photo of this in the table of contents that's enough to make one consider believing in not intelligent design, but rather humorous design (life is but a joke indeed).

The other potential quantum biological process is the ordering of water at cell walls and other protein surfaces, as described by Frohlich. Water seems to line up in such a way that the hydrogen 'ears' and oxygen 'heads' form a line, such as

H H H H H H
O O O O O O
H H H H H H

The 'squidge' vibration of the hydrogens shifting between 107 and 130 degrees separation synchronize, that fully explainable in classical terms. But the result acts much like a Bose/Einstein condensate. Furthermore, the quantum field generated could travel in classical space, transmitting synchronized microwaves (water's vibrational mode at 4.17 or so GHz is why microwave ovens work), acting as a mini-MASER, that field possible affecting remote water chains, even in other neurons. Neurons that are not connected still can communicate. This may be how. More striking and having the same implications, quantum states can be shared by distant quantum phenomena, the 'spooky action at a distance' described by Bell's Theorem. Water could 'talk' across space (within an organism, not between).

No this has nothing to do with homeopathy, 'holographic' anything, and only maybe might slightly have something to do with consciousness. That last bit, as well as references to Frohlich, and to Jibu and Yasue, Karl Pribram's writing partners who have considered the effects of ordered water (and they said nothing about holographic anything too) are in this paper from Hammeroff. It covers an aspect of the Hammeroff/Penrose "ORCH OR" quantum gravity based theory of consciousness. I don't buy their theory. I've contributed directly to it, but I'm not on board. But at least theirs is largely supportable if not supported by real science as opposed to most other noises that commingle obviously poorly understood physics, biology, philosophy, imaginary, etc. This may have something to do with consciousness, but I don't think so, and don't consider that the more interesting point. The distance from life to consciousness is one small step when compared to the one giant leap from not living to living. That I consider to be the more interesting question, and certainly easier to conduct science upon than the eternally subjective and still unsatisfactorily described concept called consciousness.

http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/docu...

Geez, I must feel pretty strongly about this. I just typed all that with the middle fingers of each hand, both hands and arms being bound in plaster with multiple fractures in both. Fell down stairs, or a speed masturbation accident, you decide. But no holographics. None. I'm warning you.

No, I am not the brain specialist.....
YES. Yes I AM the brain specialist.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
8 hours 30 min
Quote:

Geez, I must feel pretty strongly about this. I just typed all that with the middle fingers of each hand, both hands and arms being bound in plaster with multiple fractures in both. Fell down stairs, or a speed masturbation accident, you decide. But no holographics. None. I'm warning you.

*LOL* Wouldn't it have been easier to write with your index fingers, or was the choice of the middle ones a strategy to release some —holographic— steam out of your system? ;-)

As a layman, I guess the sudden explosion of articles re. quantum physics with biological process might come from the fact that, in the mind of the public, quantum processes always felt so dettached of ordinary events —this despite the fact that most of our modern technology depends on quantum processes.

Now we're been told that quantum physics is involved with some of the most fundamental processes in living organisms, and it's kind of mind-boggling. Is it so hard to understand why this is capturing people's imagination?

PS: Hope you recover promptly. I'll go tell the nurse that you're ready for your sponge bath now :-P

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

Greg's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
27 min 44 sec
red pill junkie wrote:

*LOL* Wouldn't it have been easier to write with your index fingers, or was the choice of the middle ones a strategy to release some —holographic— steam out of your system? ;-)

Perhaps DynaSoar was metaphoricaly giving us all 'the Bird', with every key stroke...
)

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
Last activity:
3 weeks 3 days

I say he typed with his middle finger because it is the longest, ans sticks our the most from whatever they wrapped his hands in. If he tried another finger, he would be hitting the wrong keys.

Somewhat related to his message, I am watching a women's tennis match, but I have to turn down the sound. For one thing all this grunting and moaning is really annoying, for another, the neighbours would think I am watching a porno.

----
It is not how fast you go
it is when you get there.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
8 hours 30 min
Quote:

(...)for another, the neighbours would think I am watching a porno.

Heaven forbid that!!! ;-)

PS: Blessed be the genius who invented the long-corded headphones :-P

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
Last activity:
3 weeks 3 days

The sound effects were not why I watched this tennis match.

I like to see people who know what they are doing. Maybe I can learn something. A good engineer, a good speaker, a good tennis player.

The winner today was not the prettiest woman (your taste may vary), but she moved really well. In an athletic way, not designed to seduce some stupid guys.

I watch those things to see "oh, that's how you do it".

----
It is not how fast you go
it is when you get there.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
8 hours 30 min
Quote:

I watch those things to see "oh, that's how you do it".

That's MY excuse for watching porn! :-P

-----
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
Last activity:
3 weeks 3 days

I watch racing too. Cars and stuff. Now if you can tell me how to have sex while driving at 300 km/h, and live to tell about it ...

Honestly these things don't really belong on TDG.

Or do they? TDG is about science, magick, MYTH, and history :P

----
It is not how fast you go
it is when you get there.

Richard's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
11 weeks 1 day

He speaks of kundalini of course, right?

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
Last activity:
3 weeks 3 days

I don't know who the "he" is, but it's not me.

I don't drive at 300 km/h, can't afford those cars, and can't afford those speeding tickets.

I have driven a distance of 180 km in 1 hour flat, including stopping for gas. At night. Trust me, I was not thinking about sex.

The Indian figure of Kundalini would not know that. You don't get this sort of thing by just sitting somewhere, whilst ignoring the physical world.

----
It is not how fast you go
it is when you get there.

DynaSoar's picture
Member since:
3 August 2005
Last activity:
4 years 43 weeks

Fact is, my right index finger knuckle is shattered and flexing that joint causes a sensation like a bone coming through the skin. I'm trying to avoid that, so the next finger is the best alternative. Pretty prosaic. For some reason (I could speculate on cognitive mapping and mirrored body image causes) using the same 'wrong' finger on the other hand is much easier than using a different 'right' finger. That's doubly surprising because the fingers of my left hand have been trained to be nimble and adaptable by 45 years of guitar playing. I can switch between alternate forms of a chord on the fly. But that doesn't seem to translate to typing.

No, I am not the brain specialist.....
YES. Yes I AM the brain specialist.

Richard's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
11 weeks 1 day

As you point out, describing is not explaining.

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
Last activity:
3 weeks 3 days

True, typically describing does not mean explaining, although many people are confused about the difference.

Similarly many people are confused about necessary conditions, and sufficient conditions.

----
It is not how fast you go
it is when you get there.

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
Last activity:
3 weeks 3 days

I was not there, have never been to China or anywhere close.

However, at that time in 1989, I was attending grad school, and quite a few of my fellow students where from China. These were from the mainland, and they were aligned with the communist government there.

They were utterly disillusioned about what took place, I saw a grown man cry about it. A big guy, quite accomplished as a graduate student.

They had direct communications (fax and email), so it was not just western TV.

----
It is not how fast you go
it is when you get there.