Today on Modern Notion Daily, our guests are Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden, authors of Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology (Crown, July 2015). Al-Khalili, a quantum physicist, and McFadden, a molecular biologist, have teamed up to write the first book on the burgeoning field of quantum biology. The quantum world operates on physical laws totally different from Newtonian physics, which might make you think that it exists completely independently of us. But in reality, quantum biology explains many unexplained phenomena in living beings, from our own sense of smell to the European robin’s ability to navigate based on the Earth’s magnetic field. Later in the hour, contributing editor Mark Hay tells us about a truly ghastly phenomenon: mosquito asphyxiation.

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