Stone-breathing bacteria can contribute to quantum computers

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Scientists have signed a study on Shewanella oneidensis, a species of bacteria that inhabit stones and metals. The results of the study show that this type of bacteria can contribute to the quantum computers of the future.

Shewanella oneidensis is known as a bacterium that attracts attention with its ability to reduce metal ions and live in oxygen or oxygen-free environments. A study whose results have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society may have uncovered the mystery of this behavior of stone breathing bacteria.

The researchers discovered that the ability of the bacteria to ‘breathe’ by transferring its electrons to the outer solid surfaces is realized by ‘molecular chirality’. Molecular chirality determines the direction of electron rotation as the organism breathes. This phenomenon helps Shewanella oneidensis exist in environments with little or no oxygen.

New study of bacteria:
Sahand Pirbadian, a Biomedical Engineer from the University of Southern California, states, “Unlike most organisms that can use oxygen as an electron acceptor, this type of bacteria transfers electrons to a solid mineral or to electrodes outside the cell like they do in our lab.”

In addition, the researchers found that when electrons are carried along the nanowire, the electron rotation directions (a quantum parameter that defines angular momentum) are affected by the chirality of cytochrome (hemoproteins involved in electron transport in the electron transport chain responsible for ATP production). This is due to the polarization of magnetic fields determined by chirality.

It can break new ground in quantum computers:
To describe the word chiral, this term means that a molecule or ion itself in chemistry creates a mirror image that cannot be obtained by any rotation. This geometric feature is called chirality. These studies are expected to break new ground in new quantum technologies, enabling the use of more powerful quantum computers.


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