From Bill Andrews at Discover:
In particular, according to a study released Monday in Nature Chemistry, an international team of scientists showed that molecules involved in photosynthesis display quantum mechanical behavior. Even though we’d suspected as much before, this is the first time we’ve seen quantum effects in living systems.
With a technique called two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, researchers saw molecules in simultaneous excited states — quantum weirdness akin to a cat being alive and dead at the same time. What’s more, the effect lasted exactly as long as theories predicted it, suggesting this evidence of quantum biology will last. As the authors succinctly put it, “Thus, our measurements provide an unambiguous experimental observation of excited-state vibronic coherence in the FMO complex.” More.
Photosynthesis now becomes less of a mystery in one sense. But in another sense, when we are in the realm of quantum mechanics, we ought not to go out and buy new lecterns to splinter.
See also: Photosynthesis pushed back even further. Time to revisit the “Boring Billion” claim