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Quantum Effects in Biological Environments

Solicitation Number: DARPASN08-51
Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Location: Contracts Management Office
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Special Notice
Added: Sep 02, 2008 11:40 am
The Defense Sciences Office (DSO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is hosting a workshop to discuss innovative research that will investigate the way that nature may be exploiting quantum mechanical effects in biological systems.

Manifestly quantum effects have been postulated to have roles in a number of biological systems. Recently experimental results have demonstrated long-lived quantum coherence in the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) Bacteriochlorophyll complex (Nature 446, (2007), 782) and in the purple bacteria reaction center (Science, 316, (2007), 1462). Furthermore, a quantum algorithm at work in the FMO complex which could have profound implications in the quantum information field. In addition there may be other examples of quantum effects. For example, new experimental results have led to the postulate that the magnetic navigation ability of some species of birds is due to the quantum Zeno effect in a photo-responsive protein complex.

The DARPA QuBE Workshop will be held in the offices of Booz Allen Hamilton at 3811 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 1000, Arlington, VA, 22203. The ultimate goal of the workshop is to identify model biological systems and quantum effects for study, and to recommend research directions that would clarify the nature and potential impact of these effects. The success of this workshop will rely heavily on group discussion of the research challenges across this interdisciplinary topic; as such, it is expected that participants will have relevant research experience.

The workshop will take place on September 29, 2008 between 1:00-7:00 PM, and September 30, 2008 between 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Sign-in and badging will take place on 29 September only; any participants who are not planning to attend the first day of the workshop must notify the organizers in advance.

There is no fee for the QuBE Workshop. Details on the workshop, including registration information, can be found at the following URL:, conference code QUA47573.

Registration is limited by the venue capacity (maximum of 35 people, maximum 2 from each institution). The registration cutoff date is September 26, 2008, or at attendance capacity, whichever comes first. If there is additional space available after the registration deadline, institutions will be permitted additional participants on a first-come, first-serve basis. Further administrative information is available from Ms. Jennifer Thabet ( Additional technical information can be obtained from Dr. Matthew Goodman ( Please refer to the QuBE Workshop in any correspondence. This special announcement is not a request for proposals.

3701 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, Virginia 22203-1714
United States
Matthew D Goodman,
Program Manager - DSO
Phone: 000-000-0000
Fax: 000-000-0000