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Exchange Morning Post daily distribution resumes September 8, 2015

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Jim Al-Khalili: How quantum biology might explain life’s biggest questions

How does a robin know to fly south? The answer might be weirder than you think: Quantum physics may be involved. Jim Al-Khalili rounds up the extremely new, extremely strange world of quantum biology, where something Einstein once called “spooky action at a distance” helps birds navigate, and quantum effects might explain the origin of life itself.

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili and co-author Johnjoe McFadden, a biologist, explore the far edges of quantum biology in their book "Life on the Edge."

A professor of physics at the University of Surrey, Jim Al-Khalili doubles as a science communicator and broadcaster. He’s the co-author with Johnjoe McFadden of Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology. The book explores this emerging -- and still largely speculative -- area of science suggesting that quantum mechanics may play a role in biology. If so, it may help us understand what drives genetic mutations that lead to cancer, or how robins fly from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean.

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