Quantum Entanglement Holds DNA Together

Stephan:  It's just a hypothesis at this point, but this line of inquiry is a logical next step in quantum biological research. Thanks to Damien Broderick, PhD.

A new theoretical model suggests that quantum entanglement helps prevent the molecules of life from breaking apart.

There was a time, not so long ago, when biologists swore black and blue that quantum mechanics could play no role in the hot, wet systems of life.

Since then, the discipline of quantum biology has emerged as one of the most exciting new fields in science. It’s beginning to look as if quantum effects are crucial in a number of biological processes, such as photosynthesis and avian navigation which we’ve looked at here and here.

Now a group of physicists say that the weird laws of quantum mechanics may be more important for life than biologists could ever have imagined. Their new idea is that DNA is held together by quantum entanglement.

That’s worth picking apart in more detail. Entanglement is the weird quantum process in which a single wavefunction describes two separate objects. When this happens, these objects effectively share the same existence, no matter how far apart they might be.

The question that Elisabeth Rieper at the National University of Singapore and a couple of buddies have asked is what role might entanglement play in DNA. To find out, they’ve constructed a simplified theoretical model […]

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The Myth of Modern Jihad

Stephan:  This seems patently self-evident to me. If there were Islamic forces breaking into American homes in the middle of the night, don't you think there would be armed resistance? Don't you believe that American patriots, particularly those who have a Second Amendment perspective and the weapons it mandates would be, well, literally up in arms? Don't you think there would be individuals who would plan and execute hit and run tactics in the Islamic homelands? That we need to engage and find a way to live with Islam is a geopolitical commonplace. But the approach we have chosen to take from the start has been a horrible bloody mess, and the wrong way to meet that challenge. Robert Wright is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, and author of the bestselling The Evolution of God.

It would be an understatement to say that Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber, pleaded guilty last week. ‘I’m going to plead guilty a hundred times over,’ Shahzad told the judge. Why so emphatic? Because Shahzad is proud of himself. ‘I consider myself a Mujahid, a Muslim soldier,’ he said.

This got some fist pumps in right-wing circles, because it seemed to confirm that America faces all-out jihad, and must marshal an accordingly fierce response. On National Review Online, Daniel Pipes wrote that Shahzad’s ‘bald declaration’ should make Americans ‘accept the painful fact that Islamist anger and aspirations’ are the problem; we must name ‘Islamism as the enemy.’And, as Pipes has explained in the past, once you realize that your enemy is a bunch of Muslim holy warriors, the path forward is clear: ‘Violent jihad will probably continue until it is crushed by a superior military force.’

At the risk of raining on Pipes’s parade: If you look at what Shahzad actually said, the upshot is way less grim. In fact, at a time when just about everyone admits that our strategy in Afghanistan isn’t working, Shahzad brings refreshing news: maybe America can win the war on terrorism without winning the […]

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U.S. Economy: Confidence Sinks on Concern Over Jobs


Confidence among U.S. consumers sank in June more than forecast as Americans became distressed over the outlook for jobs and incomes.

Stocks plunged as the confidence data, combined with Conference Board figures showing China’s economic outlook improved less than previously estimated, added to concern the global economy is slowing. Unemployment and the turmoil in financial markets precipitated by the European debt crisis raise the risk that household spending will falter.

‘What we need are consistent job gains, not just a month or two,

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FDA Says Antibiotics In Meat A ‘Serious Public Health Threat’

Stephan:  Long time SR readers will recognize this as an important part of the trend I have been following for almost a decade: The increasingly prevalence of antibiotics in the food chain and the environment, and the health consequences of this entirely profit driven phenomenon as it manifests as a spectrum of social iatrogenic problems. Search the archives using 'antibiotic' as the search term to get some sense of what is going on.

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration is urging meat producers to limit the amount of antibiotics they give animals in response to public health concerns about the drugs.

The FDA said antibiotics in meat pose a ‘serious public health threat’ because the drugs create antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can infect humans who eat it. The agency is recommending that producers use the drugs judiciously, limiting their use unless they are medically necessary and only using them with the oversight of a veterinarian.

‘Developing strategies for reducing (antibiotic) resistance is critically important for protecting both public and animal health,’ the agency said in draft guidelines printed in the Federal Register on Monday.

The agency said misuse and overuse of the drugs has led to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibiotics have been given to animals to kill pathogens for more than 50 years, and the FDA acknowledged that practice has had ‘tremendous benefits’ to animal and human health.

Of greater concern, the agency said, is when producers use antibiotics on healthy animals to speed growth and reduce feed costs. The agency is also concerned about antibiotics that are given continuously through feed or water to entire herds or flocks of animals.

The agency said it is […]

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Wireless Airwaves Would Double Under Obama Plan

Stephan:  Anyone who travels internationally knows how far behind the cutting edge America is when it comes to citizen access to electronic communications. This looks like a hopeful step forward.

President Obama signed a memorandum Monday that would double the current amount of airwaves available for wireless devices over the next 10 years, a move intended to create jobs and boost investment in the mobile phone market.

The availability of more wireless spectrum will allow faster delivery of data and video onto smart phones and other next-generation devices.

The memorandum calls for 500 megahertz of government and commercial spectrum to be made available over the next 10 years. The Federal Communications Commission made the same recommendation in its National Broadband Plan released in March. In the nation’s largest cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, local TV stations use only about 150 MHz, according to the FCC’s National Broadband Plan.

‘The initiatives endorsed today will spur economic growth, promote private investment and drive U.S. global leadership in broadband innovation,’ FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said. ‘Spectrum is the oxygen of wireless, and the future of our mobile economy depends on spectrum recovery and smart spectrum policies.’

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said Monday that he would introduce a bill to make the 500 MHz available.

Wireless telecommunications companies will be able to acquire some of this public spectrum in a government auction. Some of the […]

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