It is a good time for some nutty speculative science stuff, for a change. 8-:) This post was inspired by the following paper:
"A quantum theory for the irreplaceable role of docosahexaenoic acid in neural cell signalling throughout evolution";
by Michael A. Crawford, Kebreab Ghebremeskel, C. Leigh Broadhurst, Walter F. Schmidt, Martin Guest;
Published in: Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 88 (2013) 5–13,
The paper above is postulating that the DHA (docosehexaenoic acid) has a special role in the living organism since the beginning of Life on Earth, and must have certain unique properties so that it has never been supplanted by any other molecule.
I came to a very similar conclusions regarding DHA except that I think the primary drive behind the evolutionary use of DHA was not only the neural conduction or photosensitivity/vision as stipulated in the paper, but rather much more fundamental property of the DHA-composed cellullar membranes. That is the ability to establish quantum coherency involving very large number of ions or pseudoparticles (polarons etc) trapped on the membrane, forming the so-called Bose-Einsten Condensate (BEC). For example, a polarized DHA membrane with with H+ on one side and and e- on the opposite side, may form (H+)--(e-) integral spin pseudo atoms stretched across the membrane, which may and probably do form Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC). I think BEC explains neatly the fact that biochemical reactions involving several electron-volt of chemical potential can be driven by only a tiny ~180mV cellullar membrane potential.
It seems that the reason neural propagation appears to be extremely fast, probably instantanous, is because the quantum change of the BEC state takes place instantaneously regardless of the spacial extent of the underlying structure. Similar physics is probably taking place in the mitochondrial membranes except the purpose there would be chemical synthesis rather than signal propagation and quantum logic.
Even more speculative.
The primary evolutionary drive behind DHA could have been an ability of Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) of accelerating decay of naturally occurring radioactive Potassium-40 isotope, to Calcium 40 by creating BEC of both elements on the DHA membrane. By exposing of the BEC composed of Calcium 40 that is (one of) the end-product of Potassium 40 decay, to the original Potassium 40 nuclei in the initial quantum state, it would increase the probability of the K40-->Ca40 transistion. This is statistical property of bosons making them more likely to transition into a particular state if there are already bosons residing in that state. This effect is behind the well-known effect (to physicists) of "stimulated emission of radiation" in lasers, as opposed to "spontaneous emission".
If that is true then this effect could have greatly facilitated production of energy through stimulated radioactivity on the early Earth, in the primordial environment deep underground or at the bottom of the ocean, that were devoid of light and lacking other readily available sources of energy. This would probably be taking place in the first one billion years of the Earth evolution when the abundance of Potassium-40 was much higher than it is now.
There are other interesting and equally speculative possibilities to explore, involving BCE phenomena on the membranes and thin layers,
see for example this proposal.
Stan Bleszynski, August 2016.
Interesting link, an article on quantum processes in biology.
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