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DNA mutations can have severe health consequences around the world, including birth defects and cancer, but they’re caused by a complex web of factors. Now, in an innovative, interdisciplinary study, a group of quantum biologists have applied theoretical physics modelling to DNA replication to uncover some of the mechanisms at play at an atomic level.

Quantum physics is the nature and behaviour of matter and energy at atomic and subatomic levels, often explained by quantum theory. Quantum biology is an emerging multidisciplinary field of science, that brings together nuclear physicists, biochemists and molecular biologists, to explore how quantum mechanics plays a role in living cells.

Using state-of-the-art computer simulations and quantum mechanics, a team from Surrey’s Leverhulme Quantum Biology Doctoral Training Centre (LQBDTC) explored how proton tunnelling might be linked to DNA mutations. This research paper has been published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

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