Nature’s quantum computers
One of the big bummers about quantum computing is the cold temperatures required (hundreds of degrees below zero). However, a number of researchers believe that certain algae and bacteria perform quantum calculations at room temperature.
The evidence comes from a study of how energy travels across the light-harvesting molecules involved in photosynthesis. The work has culminated this week in the extraordinary announcement that these molecules in a marine alga may exploit quantum processes at room temperature to transfer energy without loss. Physicists had previously ruled out quantum processes, arguing that they could not persist for long enough at such temperatures to achieve anything useful.