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(MIT Technology Review)   What keeps the DNA double helix together? The same thing that happens when you play Twister naked at a college mixer   (technologyreview.com) divider line 35
    More: Cool, double helix, DNA, tornadoes, wave function, quantum entanglements, National University of Singapore, nucleotides, dumb laws  
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2251 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Dec 2013 at 10:45 AM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



35 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-12-09 06:18:58 AM
booze?
 
2013-12-09 07:28:23 AM
Horrified screams and police sirens?
 
2013-12-09 08:03:24 AM
Jagermeister and shame?
 
2013-12-09 08:19:50 AM
Nervous sweat and semi-boners?
 
2013-12-09 09:04:18 AM
penis?
 
2013-12-09 09:08:37 AM
It's all fun and games until someone gets a brown-eye in their face.
 
2013-12-09 10:09:20 AM
I thought it was hydrogen bonds between the base pairs. Damn physicists are getting their quantum shiat into everything.
 
2013-12-09 10:53:14 AM
The Stonecutters?
 
2013-12-09 10:55:15 AM

ytterbium: Nervous sweat and semi-boners?


Exactly what I was going to say.
 
2013-12-09 10:56:48 AM
Smegma and duck butter?
 
2013-12-09 10:59:27 AM
Hydrogen bonds. We've known this for how long?
 
2013-12-09 11:02:06 AM
I couldn't help but think it would have been more fun if we had invited some girls.
 
2013-12-09 11:18:32 AM
There's a new fortune to be made in "alternative medicine".  Come up with a bogus treatement that "heals the quantum fields of dna" maybe "magnetic spin induced water."


You sell a really really really overpriced magnet, make sure it's got a nice color, tell people to put it in their freezer and use it as an ice cube, because it's "bose einstein activated"
 
2013-12-09 11:29:34 AM
Overfoamed Bud Light in red Solo cups?
 
2013-12-09 11:40:35 AM
One of the nicer strip clubs in Louisville has a night where you can play Twister when a naked stripper. You pay and have to sign up for it, and if you are chosen, you get to play. If you win, you get a free lap dance. If you lose...well, I guess depending on the girl, you don't really lose.
 
2013-12-09 11:46:26 AM

Ambivalence: I thought it was hydrogen bonds between the base pairs. Damn physicists are getting their quantum shiat into everything.


It is. They are talking about the effects from base stacking forces. No biologist has ever said quantum effects don't happen, we just didn't give a shiat. Even just saying that it is the electron stacking forces between bases above each other is hand-waving enough for most molecular biologists, and that is just going down to the level of most chemists, let alone physicists.

The problem is when physicists come in and want to claim that their description will be revolutionary. It doesn't change the fact that DNA holds together or that enzymes read and replicate DNA. Having the additional knowledge on its own is great though.
 
2013-12-09 11:57:26 AM

entropic_existence: Ambivalence: I thought it was hydrogen bonds between the base pairs. Damn physicists are getting their quantum shiat into everything.

It is. They are talking about the effects from base stacking forces. No biologist has ever said quantum effects don't happen, we just didn't give a shiat. Even just saying that it is the electron stacking forces between bases above each other is hand-waving enough for most molecular biologists, and that is just going down to the level of most chemists, let alone physicists.

The problem is when physicists come in and want to claim that their description will be revolutionary. It doesn't change the fact that DNA holds together or that enzymes read and replicate DNA. Having the additional knowledge on its own is great though.


This doesn't even change anything from my prospective as a chemist.  They are just using different terms that mean hydrogen bonding and pi-stacking which are already well defined by quantum mechanics.  As a chemist we even have understood why some chemicals can cause cancer based on these effects.  And after reading their paper I see all that they have done is create a new mathematical model for something that we already know and already have models for.

/in short, a new more accurate model base on information we already know
 
2013-12-09 12:35:16 PM

entropic_existence: The problem is when physicists come in and want to claim that their description will be revolutionary. It doesn't change the fact that DNA holds together or that enzymes read and replicate DNA. Having the additional knowledge on its own is great though.


Actually, I think it will have some pretty amazing effects on biology in the long term. Once we breakthrough with the idea that humans can perceive quantum fields, I think a lot of things like "gut feeling" or other so-called paranormal phenomena will be easier to explain.

/see the study about people detecting when their boss is about to walk in, measured by minute changes on their skin
 
2013-12-09 12:50:45 PM
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 of DNA in which each nucleotide consists of a cloud of electrons around a central positive nucleus. This negative cloud can move relative to the nucleus, creating a dipole. And the movement of the cloud back and forth is a harmonic oscillator.

Translation: here are some words that Rieper said to us that we don't really understand but have written down in more or less the order she said them.

/also, what everyone else said about H-bonding and pi-stacking
 
2013-12-09 01:25:58 PM

satanorsanta: This doesn't even change anything from my prospective as a chemist.  They are just using different terms that mean hydrogen bonding and pi-stacking which are already well defined by quantum mechanics.  As a chemist we even have understood why some chemicals can cause cancer based on these effects.  And after reading their paper I see all that they have done is create a new mathematical model for something that we already know and already have models for.

/in short, a new more accurate model base on information we already know


I think they are even only describing the energetic of pi-stacking by making a model that uses quantum mechanics, but I didn't read the paper so maybe they are describing the hydrogen bonds as well. I mean, it is great to develop a better and more accurate model for the energetics of a double-helix, and more accurate models generally make computational modelling for other purposes better (especially if they are intended to be predictive in nature), but yeah. I hate when these things are described in a way that makes it seem like some sort of massive paradigm shift. We discussed pi-stacking and electron tunnelling in DNA molecules in my undergrad Bio-Organic Chemistry of Nucleic Acids course, and that was almost 10 years ago.

Peki: Actually, I think it will have some pretty amazing effects on biology in the long term. Once we breakthrough with the idea that humans can perceive quantum fields, I think a lot of things like "gut feeling" or other so-called paranormal phenomena will be easier to explain.

/see the study about people detecting when their boss is about to walk in, measured by minute changes on their skin


I don't think we need to propose that humans can perceive quantum fields to explain any of that. There is a hell of a lot of subconscious processing of the massive amounts of sensory data we are constantly being exposed to (for the boss about to walk in bit), and neuroscience and psychology have already done lots of work on things like gut feeling. And neither of those is really anything close to paranormal.
 
2013-12-09 01:39:56 PM
Adding to the dog-pile of "its hydrogen bonding, stupid"

/done tons of PCR
//PCR really is amazing
 
2013-12-09 01:40:02 PM
'Accidental' insertion?
 
2013-12-09 01:43:38 PM
booze and low standards?
 
2013-12-09 01:49:39 PM

entropic_existence: I don't think we need to propose that humans can perceive quantum fields to explain any of that. There is a hell of a lot of subconscious processing of the massive amounts of sensory data we are constantly being exposed to (for the boss about to walk in bit), and neuroscience and psychology have already done lots of work on things like gut feeling. And neither of those is really anything close to paranormal.


Fair enough. . .

I'd submit myself to science for testing, but I'd be scared that if they confirmed any of my suspicions I'd end up in a lab for the rest of my life. . .
 
2013-12-09 01:54:41 PM

entropic_existence: Ambivalence: I thought it was hydrogen bonds between the base pairs. Damn physicists are getting their quantum shiat into everything.

It is. They are talking about the effects from base stacking forces. No biologist has ever said quantum effects don't happen, we just didn't give a shiat. Even just saying that it is the electron stacking forces between bases above each other is hand-waving enough for most molecular biologists, and that is just going down to the level of most chemists, let alone physicists.

The problem is when physicists come in and want to claim that their description will be revolutionary. It doesn't change the fact that DNA holds together or that enzymes read and replicate DNA. Having the additional knowledge on its own is great though.


Fine, the tilted orientation between the 3' and 5' bonds in the phosphordiester (is that the right word?) link accounts for the helix shape. Still don't need to inject quantum stuff into it.

I just finished my first biology class so I realize I am an amateur, but I am certain we covered this somewhere in there.
 
2013-12-09 02:07:12 PM

Peki: Actually, I think it will have some pretty amazing effects on biology in the long term. Once we breakthrough with the idea that humans can perceive quantum fields, I think a lot of things like "gut feeling" or other so-called paranormal phenomena will be easier to explain.

/see the study about people detecting when their boss is about to walk in, measured by minute changes on their skin


:\
 
2013-12-09 02:19:57 PM

Relatively Obscure: /see the study about people detecting when their boss is about to walk in, measured by minute changes on their skin

:\


Well, if you cool the boss down enough so that he's moving really, really slowly...
 
2013-12-09 02:40:19 PM

Relatively Obscure: Peki: Actually, I think it will have some pretty amazing effects on biology in the long term. Once we breakthrough with the idea that humans can perceive quantum fields, I think a lot of things like "gut feeling" or other so-called paranormal phenomena will be easier to explain.

/see the study about people detecting when their boss is about to walk in, measured by minute changes on their skin

:\


S'okay, I know it's fringe. It's the deeper darker side of me I don't let out much on Fark (for obvious reasons). Just. . . too many experiences to ignore, is all. Your validation isn't necessary for my experience, and science's validation could be scary. *shrug*
 
2013-12-09 03:19:33 PM
water exclusion. base stacking interactions. entropy reduction hydrogen-bonding. inherent angle to phosphodiester linkage... meh. delta g whatever.
 
2013-12-09 03:19:49 PM

Peki: S'okay, I know it's fringe. It's the deeper darker side of me I don't let out much on Fark (for obvious reasons). Just. . . too many experiences to ignore, is all. Your validation isn't necessary for my experience, and science's validation could be scary. *shrug*


I'm not upset with you or anything.  I just tend to throw up walls when I hear "quantum" and "paranormal" in the same breath.  Way, waaaaay too much trying to make science most of us barely understand (it surely confuses me) into a woo-woo mystical idea where "omg anything is possible therefore telepathy and love spells" or whatever.

I think there are probably more solid explanations for the one thing you mentioned specifically (if it's a real thing).  But, I'm certainly not trying to come after you or your experiences.
 
2013-12-09 03:22:27 PM

Ambivalence: Fine, the tilted orientation between the 3' and 5' bonds in the phosphordiester (is that the right word?) link accounts for the helix shape. Still don't need to inject quantum stuff into it.

I just finished my first biology class so I realize I am an amateur, but I am certain we covered this somewhere in there.


They constructed a model that included the quantum effects on Pi-stacking. We knew Pi-stacking existed. Basically their model, which treats the bases as these "quantum oscillators" accounts for the binding energetics better than standard models. Again, they aren't really postulating anything revolutionary in terms of the chemistry of nucleic acid double-helices, but they are claiming to more accurately model the energetics of the system. They weren't talking anything about the helix shape.

Peki: :\

S'okay, I know it's fringe. It's the deeper darker side of me I don't let out much on Fark (for obvious reasons). Just. . . too many experiences to ignore, is all. Your validation isn't necessary for my experience, and science's validation could be scary. *shrug*


Our personal experience are hugely subjective and VERY susceptible to confirmation bias. When I was a kid I was convinced I had some sort of psychic powers because I had dreams that later came true. The problem is memory is REALLY flawed and in particular, we know that we don't actually remember things like dreams that accurately. Then of course we only "remember" those instances were we could connect our deja-vu feeling to something (a memory of a really weird process like dreaming). So while it still happens (the deja-vu feeling) I'm way to skeptical of my own neuro-processes and cognitive biases to attribute it to any sort of paranormal phenomenon.
 
2013-12-09 06:05:15 PM

Relatively Obscure: for the one thing you mentioned specifically (if it's a real thing).


If it were just "one" thing, I'd be much easier to dismiss. The problem is I do it front of other people sometimes without meaning to. Draws stares.

entropic_existence: Our personal experience are hugely subjective and VERY susceptible to confirmation bias


This is why I'd be open to science actually taking a look. I'd like to actually know if I'm suffering from confirmation bias, or if there is something to it. As far as your dream example, it doesn't apply to me, because I can tell the difference between a dream and a future tell (they are of a completely different quality, and I have other. . shall we call them tricks?. . .so it's not like I'm only experiencing one form of phenomenon, it's several--like being able to recognize my grandmother's father at 3 years old when the man had died 2 years before I was born, and calling him "Grandpa").

If I'm not "psychic," then I'd love for science to figure out what I am perceiving that others don't, and since people are constantly commenting on my observational skills (for instance, I'll move aside for something no one else saw coming), it's not that much of a leap for me to attribute what I do to the ability to interpret microexpressions, or something like what the guys on Psych or Lie To Me do. It's just. . even then there are times when that explanation doesn't even work, and all I can do is smile cryptically and wiggle my nose like Samantha on Bewitched.

Again, my biggest fear isn't that I'm wrong. It's that I'm right.

/and then there's always the intellectual twist of "did a miss happen because I did something to alter it, or because it wasn't actually going to happen?"
 
2013-12-09 11:21:40 PM
June 28, 2010

old_news_is_so_exciting.jpg
 
2013-12-10 04:18:13 AM
I look at it this way: viewing already known processes through the prism of quantum physics might lead to new discoveries across the board.
As the role of quantum forces becomes better understood, perhaps it will give us leaps in understanding how to combine or synthesize what we need to take our understanding to the next level over time.
 
2013-12-10 09:16:06 AM

Ambivalence: I thought it was hydrogen bonds between the base pairs. Damn physicists are getting their quantum shiat into everything.


imgs.xkcd.com
 
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