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Biotech Science

Nobel Prize Winner Says DNA Performs Quantum Teleportation 347

Posted by samzenpus
from the giant-book-that's-hidden-inside-you dept.
HJED writes "TechWorld is reporting that the joint winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2008, Luc Montagnier, is claiming that DNA can send 'electromagnetic imprints' of itself into distant cells and fluids which can then be used by enzymes to create copies of the original DNA. This would be equivalent to quantum teleportation. You can read the original paper here [PDF]."
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Nobel Prize Winner Says DNA Performs Quantum Teleportation

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  • Simplified (Score:5, Informative)

    by mibe (1778804) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @11:50PM (#34857644)

    My background is strictly biology, so a lot of the physics stuff goes over my head, but I can decipher the sciencey jargon well enough to read the paper. Anyway, here's what they saw:

    bacterial DNA in tube 1 -> water tube surrounded by 7hz field -> tube 2 containing PCR ingredients minus template -> recovery of bacterial DNA sequence from tube 2

    The explanation, as you may have guessed, is super complicated. It involves the hypothetical creation of so-called water nanostructures (water memory anyone?), but apparently the ~7hz field is important and recapitulated in the math somehow that's opaque to me.

    So that's the paper for dummies, so to speak. If anyone can elaborate or correct in simple terms I'd be happy to read it; this is cool stuff.

  • by cjonslashdot (904508) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:06AM (#34857728)

    I just read the original article, and it is not claiming quantum teleportation.

    It is claiming that electromagnetic resonances are set up around polymers in water solution, and if the water contains the right building blocks (monomers), then the resonances can reconstruct copies of the original polymers. This apparently occurs even if there are physical barriers separating the polymers from the monomer solution.

    The article relies on quantum mechanics only to the extent that certain quantum mechanical models of water molecule behavior (coherence domains) are used, since "classical" models that rely on energy levels are not sufficient. There is no claim of teleportation that I could see.

  • OK, I misread (Score:4, Informative)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:06AM (#34857738) Homepage

    When I first read this story I misread the first line and though the scientist had won the Nobel Prize for this research. Later I realized I recognized his name. Luc Montagnier, FWIW, won the Prize in 2008 for being the first to isolate HIV (at a time when its exact role in AIDS was unknown). He's since remained pretty prominent in HIV/AIDS research.

    This other research, however, seems a lot more fringe-y and questionable, and now that I know the Nobel Committee has not endorsed it I will view it with a serious dose of skepticism until his findings can be repeated.

  • Misleading Summary. (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:47AM (#34857938)

    The word "teleportation" does not appear anywhere in the original article. Seems like another case of media misinterpreting scientific articles to fit popular pseudoscience notions. The findings are about electromagnetic "signals". The signals may remotely affect other DNA molecules, causing them to emulate the original molecule. How is that teleportation?

  • Re:umm (Score:5, Informative)

    by DebateG (1001165) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @01:15AM (#34858074)
    I take back my assertion that this is a hoax. Apparently, this Nobel Prize laureate has a history [quackometer.net] of producing very tenuous science on this topic. I think he's actually serious, which is pretty sad.
  • Re:New excuse ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @01:17AM (#34858082)

    Not necessarily about rape. Could be interpreted as contesting paternity, ie no coercion at time of sex but denying child is his. Is that more palatable?

  • Re:umm (Score:5, Informative)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @01:23AM (#34858104) Homepage
    From your link:

    There are many problems with the paper, not least that it is pretty much self-published in a journal without rigorous peer-review (it took two days from ‘receipt’ of the paper to publishing) and the journal was set up and edited by Montagnier himself.

    My head asplode.

  • Re:umm (Score:5, Informative)

    by Skreems (598317) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:37AM (#34858456) Homepage

    They don't do the proper controls for step 4 to 5. What happens when no DNA is present in tube #1? What happens when there is no inducing field?

    From TFA:

    The following controls were found to suppress the EMS transmission in the water tube:
    - Time of exposure of the two tubes less than 16 18 hrs
    - No coil
    - Generator of magnetic field turned off
    - Frequency of excitation - Absence of DNA in tube 1.

    They did in fact answer all your concerns, and I would think that the fact that the generator turned off resulted in a negative trial addresses most of your concerns about contamination... they shouldn't have gotten a negative for basically ANY of those variables if it was just contamination.

  • Re:Cough, cough... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Skreems (598317) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @02:53AM (#34858530) Homepage

    It's a thinly veiled attempt to play with homeopathy

    From TFA:

    In each cycle it was diluted 10-fold, and "ghost" DNA was only recovered after between seven and 12 dilutions of the original. It was not found at the ultra-high dilutions used in homeopathy.

    So, not so much. Unless by "play with" you mean "dismiss offhand". I really don't get why so many people in the commentary are being completely dismissive of this as new age nonsense. He's not obviously trying to push an agenda in the paper as far as I could tell. It really seems like he saw some weird effects and documented them, and that's all. Either he's flat out lying, or he really saw something odd which hasn't been fully explained. Why assume that he's lying before any independent trials are done?

  • by gothmogged (161673) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @03:17AM (#34858634)

    This is pretty nonsensical. At 7 Hz the wavelength for sound in water would be hundreds of meters and light would be many order of magnitude more. How would such an em field be involved in forming nanometer resolution structures in water?

    This is yet another case of wild extrapolation from measurements that are at or beyond the limits of the tools being used.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..." -- Hunter S. Thompson

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