Harvard researchers create hybrid algorithm for NMR readings

Friday, July 24, 2020 - 13:31 in Physics & Chemistry

A process called NMR spectroscopy that is often used to find and identify small molecules in biological samples such as blood and urine has become a powerful diagnostic tool for medical professionals, helping identify biomarkers of specific diseases and disorders. But the technique has its limits, especially when researchers need to identify molecules that haven’t been catalogued already — that is, the vast majority of them. A trio of doctors and medical researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School wanted to make this complicated and time-consuming process a lot simpler, and hoped quantum physics could help. They figured that since the basics of NMR, short for nuclear magnetic resonance, is grounded in quantum mechanics, then perhaps a quantum computer could help push the technique beyond the current limits set by using ordinary computer processors to interpret the data. The researchers from the Medical School enlisted a pair of quantum physicists...

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