Basque researchers succeed in creating a quantum system that reproduces key aspects of the biological processes that define life
What is the origin of life? One of the primary questions of humanity continues to pose a mystery to the scientific world, but thanks to the latest technology and the thrust of researchers with the ability to take advantage, increasingly moving towards an answer.
This quantum algorithm simulated major biological processes such as self-replication, mutation, the interaction between individuals, and death at the level of qubits. The end result was an accurate simulation of the evolutionary process that plays out at the microscopic level.
“Life is a complex macroscopic feature emerging from inanimate matter, while quantum information is a feature of qubits—microscopic isolated objects happening in the universe of the very small,” Solano told me in an email. “Our research brought these amazingly sophisticated events called ‘life’ to the realm of the atomic and microscopic world… and it worked.”
A team of researchers from the University of the Basque Country has been able to successfully recreate basic principles of the evolution biological in a quantum computer, namely the QX4 five qubits of IBM. In other words, they have created quantum systems with the ability to learn, memorize, interact to copy themselves, mutate and die: they have created artificial life. This concept they call quantum biomimetics.
This is the area of expertise that chose these four researchers when they set out to test the capabilities of quantum information. U. Alvarez-Rodriguez, M. Sanz, L. E. Solano Lamata and have just published their results in the digital repository of the journal Nature Scientific Reports under the “title Quantum Artificial Life in a quantum computer IBM “. It is not the first article in the prestigious journal sign. Part of the Department of Physical Chemistry at the UPV / EHU, the team of ‘ Quantum Technologies for Information Science ( QUTIS )’.
How does a quantum computer to that process? Simulate biological processes that dominate the principles of natural selection, evolution, and life, in general, is not new. But the inclusion of quantum technology offers an advantage that so far classical computers could not offer: the overlap. This aspect opens up many more capabilities.
Beyond the obvious leap in efficiency processing capacity(quantum computers can solve problems that a supercomputer will involve several days of calculations in one second), the basic principle of quantum mechanics is that overcomes the binary factor: and it does not result “one” or “zero” (an information bit). Quantum computers go further and introduce a third state: their overlap, or overlap. A state that is, at once, one and zero. With the three states as options talking about a qubit, which multiplies exponentially computing capabilities.
The concept is unintuitive because it is not evident in our most common macro scale not check in every day around us, but studied at the sub-atomic level. Thanks to these computers finally possible measure that natural state involvement in the evolutionary process.
The initial goal was to emulate unique properties of living things, providing different quantum information protocols intrinsically biological properties: to imitate death, a programmed system of finite life; to mimic the mutations, an introduction of randomness to the same quantum overlap invites, even adding error rates for copies of information.
Each individual was formed by two qubits: genotype and phenotype, genetic information and expression
Each individual was formed by genotype (pure genetic information from generation to generation) in a qubit dedicated, and the phenotype (expression of that information, sensitive to environmental influence) in another qubit: both They intervened during the process of self – replication, affected by the interaction with other individuals. Natural selection was recreated from the premise that each individual is a survival strategy different and the strongest filled the space.
The result of this first prototype approach confirms that the quantum system is able to recreate very efficiently, and with fidelity, biological models classic Darwinism. After the experiment, the researchers “leave open the question of whether the origin of life is truly quantum mechanical”. In any case, that was not intended to answer the question.
With the evolution of technology, and more computing power(quantum supremacy once established), the researchers believe the system could recreate more advanced evolutionary systems that take into account more variables. In the future they might even develop more advanced quantum individuals: they could create intelligent life that autorelease . An idea that chills.
In the future they might even develop more advanced quantum individuals: they could create intelligent life