, Volume 56, Issue 2–3, pp 367–381

Quantum algorithms and the genetic code

  • Apoorva Patel
Quantum Information Processing


Replication of DNA and synthesis of proteins are studied from the view-point of quantum database search. Identification of a base-pairing with a quantum query gives a natural (and first ever!) explanation of why living organisms have 4 nucleotide bases and 20 amino acids. It is amazing that these numbers arise as solutions to an optimisation problem. Components of the DNA structure which implement Grover’s algorithm are identified, and a physical scenario is presented for the execution of the quantum algorithm. It is proposed that enzymes play a crucial role in maintaining quantum coherence of the process. Experimental tests that can verify this scenario are pointed out.


Quantum mechanics computation database search genetic information DNA nucleotide base protein amino acid enzyme quantum coherence 


03.67.Lx 87.15.By 87.22.Me 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Apoorva Patel
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Theoretical Studies, and Supercomputer Education and Research CentreIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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