Energy transfer in material solids is driven primarily by differences in intensive thermodynamic quantities such as pressure and temperature. The crucial observation in quantum-theoretical models was the consideration of the heat capacity as associated with the vibrations of atoms in a crystalline solid. However, living organisms are essentially isothermal. Because of very little differences in temperature between different parts of a cell it is assumed that energy flow in living organisms is mediated by differences in the turnover time of various metabolic processes in the cell, which occur in cyclical fashion. It has been shown that the cycle time of these metabolic processes is related to the metabolic rate, that is the rate at which the organism transforms the free energy of whatever source into metabolic work, maintenance of constant temperature and structuraland functional organization of the cells. Quantum Metabolism exploits the methodology of the quantum theory of solids to provide a molecular level which derives new rules relating metabolic rate and body size.
Davies P, Lloyd A, Demetrius LA, Tuszynski, JA (2012) Implications of quantum metabolism and natural selection for the origin of cancer cells and tumor progression. Citation: AIP Advances 2, 011101 (2012); doi: 10.1063/1.3697850