Researchers from Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany and the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain are looking for the presence of quantum mechanical processes within viruses and maybe other biological systems. Toward that end, they have proposed an experimental setup that would attempt to create and detect quantum superposition states within viruses billions of atoms large.
In order to test for superposition states, the experiment involves finely tuning lasers to capture larger objects such as viruses in an ‘optical cavity’ (a very tiny space), another laser to slow the object down (and put it into what quantum mechanics call a ‘ground state’) and then adding a photon (the basic element of light) in a specific quantum state to the laser to provoke it into a superposition.
The researchers say, "We hope that this system, apart from providing new quantum technology, will allow us to test quantum mechanics at larger scales, by preparing macroscopic superpositions of objects at the nano and micro scale. This could then enable us to use more complex microorganisms, and thus test the quantum superposition principle with living organisms by performing quantum optics experiments with them."