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Overview:

Biophysics is the application of physics to biological systems. This interdisciplinary field is quickly growing in the modern scientific community.

Major Innovations:

One of the first major findings in biophysics was the discovery of the double helix structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. James D. Watson (geneticist & zoologist), Francis Crick (physicist, molecular biologist, and neuroscientist), & Maurice Wilkins (physicist) were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology & Medicine for the discovery. Rosalind Franklin (physical chemist & crystallographer) was also instrumental in this discovery, but she was not cited by the Nobel Prize.

Current Work:

Some of the major work in current biophysics relates to work in the nervous system. Specifically, there is a lot of interest in how neurons transfer electrochemical signals.

Biophysics & Consciousness:

Francis Crick has devoted over 20 years to the question of how the brain forms consciousness. RogerPenrose, another physicist, has applied the concepts of quantum physics to state his belief that consciousness is a manifestation of quantum phenomona, refuting beliefs that the brain can be simulated in complex computer systems. Penrose and others have tried to show how this quantum nature could manifest, but there is currently no proof for the hypothesis.

Preparing for a Career in Biophysics:

More and more colleges are offering degree programs in biophysics, although many people doing work in the field have different degrees. Studying physics and biology disciplines obviously are most applicable, although in-depth knowledge of chemistry and mathematics helps. Medical physics, biochemistry, mathematical physics, molecular physics, chemical physics, and similar fields are all fields to consider in pursuing a biophysics career.
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