Study of the genome and genetics is leaving out a significant part of the equation of how life works, says a Tucson research physician.

Stuart Hameroff, director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, says that his studies of "consciousness," or awareness, is an added dimension in the study of how life is structured, and not including it in scientific study is "leaving something out."

"Consciousness has a unity, a oneness, a quantum binding in the brain" that allows the body to perform complex functions coordinating among cells, Hameroff says. "Genetics gives structure, but the way they work together involves a quantum field."

That quantum field is consciousness, and Hameroff says he has studied its impact with research on how anesthesia affects people's brain activities.

"If you just look at genes and reduce everything to their basic constituents, I think you lose something, life itself," Hameroff says.