The Russian Quantum Center, the Roscongress Foundation and the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom held the third international online discussion as a part of the project named Quantum of the Future.
The project includes open sessions devoted to quantum calculations and the creation of a quantum computer, quantum communications and quantum technologies in medicine.
A third online discussion entitled “Can quantum technology give us immortality?” took place live on June 18th. The moderator was Ruslan Yunusov , head of the Russian Quantum Center and the Rosatom project to create a quantum computer in Russia.
World medicine has accumulated colossal knowledge, many of which, however, exist only in theory and cannot be properly applied due to the limited technology. A quantum computer would revolutionize healthcare and rid humanity of diseases that are currently considered incurable.
As noted by a professor at the Italian University of San Rafaele and a specialist in the study of the human brain Antonio Malgaroli , there are still diseases whose treatment has not been found. Among them, for example, neurodegenerative diseases of Parkinson and Alzheimer.
“We look forward to the development of quantum technologies. The brain is the least studied human organ, it is an incredibly complex system consisting of hundreds of billions of neurons, and each neuron is itself a whole universe. Despite the truly outstanding advances in neuromedicine, our knowledge of the brain is still not enough. We do not always understand the connections in the brain, their sequence and pattern - all that is critical for predicting, preventing, diagnosing and localizing the disease. To fully understand all the processes in the brain, an equally complex device is needed. It is likely that a quantum computer will become a worthy opponent and assistant to the human brain, ” reflects Antonio Malgaroli.
Developments in the application of quantum technologies in medicine, especially for the study of the brain, are used in many countries. In Germany, this area has become part of the national health program, which involves active cooperation with foreign colleagues. Such interaction in biomedicine would help strengthen the link between Germany and Russia, says Otmar Whistler, president of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers and chairman of the Foundation for the German Cancer Research Center.
Otmar Whistler confirmed that a quantum computer has enormous potential for a real breakthrough in healthcare: “Medicine has big data, at the moment there is not enough technology to analyze it and to study the human body, especially the brain. We aim to use all possible tools: artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analysis, human brain modeling and, of course, all this becomes much more efficient thanks to a quantum computer”.
Gleb Sukhorukov , a specialist in the field of physical chemistry, professor of biomedical technologies at Queen Mary University of London, professor at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, agrees with colleagues: “In the future, we will be able to accurately determine how cells communicate with each other, which signals transmit. Any disease begins with some kind of failure in this communication. Physics and chemistry give us an idea of how this happens, only one thing is missing - the capacities, technologies for the diagnosis of these intercellular and interneuronal connections . ”
Maxim Ostras , project manager for the development of hypersensitive sensors for medical applications, told how this diagnosis can be applied in practice. “We are working on the creation of quantum sensors that will be indispensable in many industries. These are tiny devices: several hundred nanometers or even several tens of nanometers. Such a sensor can be placed inside the cell without disturbing its vital functions. He will be able to fix magnetic fields, electrical pulses, and therefore determine the development of abnormal processes and localize the disease. For example, it will be possible to accurately determine the area in the brain that malfunctions and provokes the occurrence of, for example, epilepsy, depression and other mental disorders, ” said Maxim Ostras .
“Quantum sensors are a really promising technology, which is based on the high sensitivity of quantum systems,” explains Ruslan Yunusov . - Using these sensors, you can measure the temperature of each individual cell. Five years ago, Harvard scientists proved that the temperature of cancer cells is higher than the temperature of healthy cells - quantum sensors can identify malignant formations without affecting healthy ones . ”
According to Vittorio Sebastiano , associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, quantum technology will accelerate research in cell rejuvenation and programming. “We are on the verge of a new era in the history of mankind. We can defeat aging, which is the main factor in the development of most diseases. Nevertheless, there is no talk of immortality. A person still has biological age limits, my prognosis is 120-130 years. It should be noted that we are primarily talking not so much about life expectancy, but about its quality, ” says Vittorio Sebastiano.
David Verdesi , an anthropologist and author of the Superhuman methodology , has been studying consciousness for many years on the basis of religions and recent discoveries in quantum physics and neurobiology. “Mankind has been trying for millennia to comprehend the connection between the physical and the spiritual. In world culture, knowledge about absolute enlightenment and existence outside the physical shell is stored. Is this a real experience or just a fantasy of a person who knows. It is possible that a quantum computer will help to “program” the body and consciousness, which means creating the ideal Human 2.0 - without illness and anxiety. It can be assumed that quantum technologies will lead us to immortality if they help to preserve the consciousness of each person, transfer him to a certain avatar - whether it be a new biological shell or a robot, ” says David Verdesi .
Antonio Malgaroli supported the idea that the immortality of consciousness is an incredibly exciting topic. “Our consciousness and what we designate as“ soul “is contained in the brain. This begs the question - how to prolong the life of consciousness after death. For example, if a brain transplant is performed, what kind of consciousness will this person have?”
The emergence of quantum diagnostic and treatment methods naturally raises ethical questions: for example, will artificial supermind and total control over people appear?
“Quantum technology will open up the prospect of managing many processes. Even modern developments allow you to visualize the signal from the cerebral cortex in the form of a fuzzy, but still picture. And with the help of a quantum computer, we will probably really learn to read minds, ” says Maxim Ostras.
Otmar Whistler notes that any manipulations with the human brain and genome should be done only with consent. He also noted that countries should take part in the development of uniform ethical rules on the use of quantum technologies in the field of medicine.
“The answer to the development of quantum sensors, for example, may be the appearance of some kind of protective helmet. Brain monitoring and its control - no matter what issue we may raise, science and technology are still human-centered, which means they concern ethics and morality. We hope that people will use quantum technologies, guided by high humanistic principles”, concluded Ruslan Yunusov.