Scientists built a model of evolution on IBM quantum computer

Scientists built a model of evolution on IBM quantum computer

Researchers from China and Spain made a model of evolution of two protozoans on a cloud-based quantum computer from IBM. The results are published on the portal.

To study the evolution of life, scientists use a mathematical model and test hypotheses with the help of computer calculations. Now it’s possible to do this on more precise quantum computers.

To build this system, the team led by Unai Alvarez-Rodriguez used an ibmqx4 model quantum computer, which operates five qubits and is publicly available in the cloud.

The system includes two animalcular "living" objects. One accounted for two qubits containing information about its genotype and phenotype. Information about the type of living cells that were "inherited" (simplified DNA prototype) was recorded in the genotype. The phenotype information was not inherited by the descendants, but changed throughout the existence of the organism due to interaction with the environment, the second object and influenced the life span.

For self-copying (reproduction and transferring genotype to the new generation), experts mixed the genotype qubit with a clean one, after which they transferred the information from the first to the second qubit.

To demonstrate the process of interacting with the surrounding world, the phenotype qubit was used. It gradually disintegrated, simulating the aging process. When the qubit reached a certain asymptotic state, it meant definite "death".

To model natural selection, researchers selected in the new generation and copied the genotypes of objects that had lived longer.

Scientists also engineered the phenomenon of mutation, occasionally shuffling phenotypes, but without touching the genotypes of the pair of organisms. Roughly speaking, they showed an analogue of multiplication by cell division.

The experiment was carried out repeatedly. As a result, it turned out that the ability to survive is higher in generations obtained by mixing the phenotype.

The quantum computer used in this research was released in the spring of 2016. Scientists plan to recreate the process on later IBM versions.

You can find out all the details of the experiment, as well as discover new products to be implemented by IBM at the Quantum Technology Conference on March 1. Alexander Pozdneev, technical adviser of the IBM Laboratory for the advanced technologies implementation will share his experience on the topic. Among other things, he will talk about IBM Q – the prototype of a universal quantum computer.

Find out who else will make presentations at the Quantum Technology Conference, and get your ticket at a special price!


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