COULD CONSCIOUSNESS DRAW ON BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS WHICH ACT AS ORGANIC SEMICONDUCTORS AND/OR SUPERCONDUCTORS?
Manifestations of quantum coherence can be found in different solid state systems including semiconductor confined magnetic systems, crystals and superconductors.
PJ Hore (2016) has pointed out that certain organic semiconductors (OLEDs) exhibit magnetoelectroluminescence or magnetoconductance, the mechanism of which shares essentially identical physics with radical pairs in biology – specifically singlet and triplet states generated during magnetoreception.
Biological materials implicated in quantum biology are similar in structure to organic semiconductors. Organic molecules that serve as chromophores (of which flavins such as cryptochrome, are examples) consist of extended conjugated π-systems (the same structure as organic semiconductors) – which allow electronic excitation by sunlight and provide photochemical reactivity. Eukaryotic riboflavin-binding proteins typically bind riboflavin between the aromatic residues of mostly tryptophan- and tyrosine-built triads of stacked aromatic rings…Ultrafast electron transfer mechanisms from an aromatic moiety to a photoexcited flavin are not only observed for riboflavin-binding proteins but for other flavoproteins, like for BLUF (blue light sensing using FAD) domains, cryptochromes, and DNA photolyases. H Staudt 2011.
And in biology, evidence has been found that the existence of central aromatic acids can serve as stepping stones to support an electron hopping mechanism W Sun 2016, including in flavins, with suggestions that a redox doping type mechanism may be in operation (also see Orf 2015 and 2016
These ideas are further explored in another posting – click here to find out more. This includes evidence of solid state photo-CIDNP and its involvement in ultra-fast electron transfer, singlet and triplet states and quantum coherence within biology (and therefore at high temperatures).
IS THERE EVIDENCE OF MAGNETORECEPTION AND THE PHOTO CIDNP EFFECT IN HUMANS?
J Kirschvink (Caltech) claims to have found evidence of magnetoreception in human beings (June 2016).
He has used a Faraday cage to demonstrate that human brains can be influenced by magnetic fields. When the magnetic field is rotating counterclockwise, there’s a drop in participants’ alpha waves. The suppression of α waves, in the EEG world, is associated with brain processing: a set of neurons were firing in response to the magnetic field, the only changing variable.
Kirschvink’s experiments found that when magnetic field is rotating counterclockwise, there’s a drop in participants’ alpha waves. Existing research suggests there is a mutual relationship between gamma and alpha oscillations in the visual cortex. K Hepp (ed P Blanchard and J Frohlich 2015).
Currently the sample size is very small (24 participants) and the results need to be peer reviewed for publishing, but it will be interesting to see further information on this in the future.
The mechanism behind such magnetoreception is unknown, however recently it has been found that a polymer-like protein, dubbed MagR (Drosophila CG8198) forms a complex with a photosensitive protein called Cryptochrome (Cry). The MagR/Cry protein complex, the researchers found, has a permanent magnetic moment, which means that it spontaneously aligns in the direction of external magnetic fields. This is the only known protein complex that has a permanent magnetic moment. Cry likely regulates the magnetic moment of the rod-shaped complex, while the iron-sulfur clusters in the MagR protein are probably what give rise to the permanent magnetic polarity of the structure. S Qin – 2016.
In transgenic C Elegans, expressing this magnetoreceptor in myo-3-specific muscle cells or mec-4-specific neurons, application of an external magnetic field triggered muscle contraction and withdrawal behaviour of the worms, indicative of magnet-dependent activation of muscle cells and touch receptor neurons. It was also found that the magnetoreceptor could evoke membrane depolrisation and action potentials, generate calcium influx, and trigger neuronal activity in both HEK-293 cells and cultured primary hippocampal neurons when activated by a remote magnetic field. The magnetogenetic control of neuronal activity could be dependent on the direction of the magnetic field and exhibits on-response and off-response patterns for external magnetic fields applied. The group also screened other species’ genomes and showed variants of both proteins were highly conserved across several animals, including pigeons, monarch butterflies, whales and even humans. X Long 2016
Evidence of reduced triplet product yield in brain tissue following exposure to magnetic fields would be required to demonstrate that the solid state photo CIDNP state effect was present in the brain.
A number of papers have proposed that oxidative stress could be caused by electro-magnetic fields e.g ELF-EMFs exposure (50 Hz, 0.1–1.0 mT) was shown to significantly affect antioxidant enzymatic capacity in both young and aged rat brains (S Falcone 2008). However such findings have been contradicted in other studies. H Kabuto et al 2001 demonstrated that no ROS generation nor lipid peroxidation could be detected in brain homogenates of exposed mice. Interestingly, they observed a slight decrease in oxidative damage in mice exposed to static field (2–4 mT). S R Balind 2014 also found extremely low frequency magnetic field (50 Hz, 0.5 mT) reduces oxidative stress in the brains of gerbils. ELF-EMF exposure, in the form of transcranial magnetic stimulation (60-Hz, 0.7 mT) applied to rats for 2 hr twice daily, can prove neuroprotective. Extremely low-frequency EMF can mitigate oxidative damage, elevate neurotrophic protein levels in brain and ameliorate behavioral deficits in rats (I Tunez 2006, I Tasset 2010 and 2013 found that EMFs activated the antioxidant pathway Nrf2 in a Huntington’s disease-like rat mode), Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields land as well as potentially augment neurogenesis. Such studies reiterate that the level and timing of exposure are critical factors impacting outcome measures. M Reale 2014.