Monday, July 27, 2015

Quantum biology smells bad

I am skeptical of the grand and speculative claims of "quantum biology". 
There is a nice paper in PNAS which systematically considers the specific claim that smell is based on sensing the vibrational frequencies of particular molecules, and rebuts it from both theoretical and experimental points of view.

Implausibility of the vibrational theory of olfaction
Eric Block, Seogjoo Jang, Hiroaki Matsunami, Sivakumar Sekharan, Bérénice Dethier, Mehmed Z. Ertem, Sivaji Gundala, Yi Pan, Shengju Li, Zhen Li, Stephene N. Lodge, Mehmet Ozbil, Huihong Jiang, Sonia F. Penalba, Victor S. Batista, and Hanyi Zhuang.

I thank Suggy Jang for bringing the paper to my attention.


  1. methinks you may be a little out of your intellectual comfort zone here

  2. sorry, forgot to sign my comment which I always do. My full name is Luca Turin and my email if you want to get in touch.