Quantum biology is a field emerging at the intersection of quantum science and technology with the complexity of biological systems. In a sense, there are two ways to view this:
- Using our understanding of quantum mechanics to help explain some of the more complex and subtle biological processes that occur in nature, recognising that quantum does very much ‘play out’ in biological systems even if we don’t yet realise exactly how. For example, how is energy harvested so efficiently in nature? Or why does one molecule lead to much stronger immune responses compared to another almost identical molecule?
- Using quantum technologies as a tool in the biological and medical laboratory to create better solutions to known problems, whether it be to help understand and treat human disease by sensing and imaging with more clarity and detail than ever before, to simulate complex biological processes using quantum algorithms, or to predict molecules that will have desired effects.
Developing new quantum understanding and technologies and applying them to biology will help unravel the biggest fundamental questions of living systems. These questions are of foundational importance to clean energy technologies, agricultural productivity, and to the detection and treatment of disease.
The Quantum Technologies Future Science Platform will develop new quantum technologies and apply them in biological systems.