Washington: Diamonds, which have been considered to be a girl’s best friend for long, may now turn out to be a patient`s best friend as well.A Harvard University-based research team, including a physicist from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), says that its research into the possibilities of developing quantum computers have led to a finding that may have more immediate application in medical science.
Reading a quantum bit`s spin information—a fundamental task for a quantum computer—has been a daunting challenge, but the team demonstrated that by transferring the information back and forth between the electron and the nuclei, the information could be amplified, making it much easier to read.However, Jacob Taylor, NIST theoretical physicist, still says that the findings are "evolutionary, not revolutionary" for the quantum computing field, and that the medical world may reap practical benefits from the discovery long before a working quantum computer is built. He envisions diamond-tipped sensors performing magnetic resonance tests on individual cells within the body, or on single molecules drug companies want to investigate—a sort of MRI scanner for the microscopic. "That`s commonly thought not to be possible because in both of these cases the magnetic fields are so small. But this technique has very low toxicity and can be done at room temperature. It could potentially look inside a single cell and allow us to visualize what`s happening in different spots," he says. ANI