I hope you have not missed Ian Steward's paper on the number
8, considered as a TOE in the last new scientist.
It mentions a paper by John Baez on the octonions. The
octonions seems to be a key ingredient for the quantization
of general relativity.
I am too buzy now to make comments but it seems *very*
interesting, if not convincing.
You can find many discussions on the net about Baez's paper.
For example, one by Osher Doctorow