Chiral molecules are “handy” molecules. Here’s how they’re helping us discover where else life might exist and how it originated on Earth.
Force Of Nature Gave Life Its Asymmetry
“Physicists have found hints that the asymmetry of life – the fact that most biochemical molecules are ‘left-handed’ or ‘right-handed’ – could have been caused by electrons from nuclear decay in the early days of evolution. In an experiment that took 13 years to perfect1, the researchers have found that these electrons tend to destroy certain organic molecules slightly more often than they destroy their mirror images.”
Asymmetric Molecule, Key To Life, Detected In Space For First Time
Scientists for the first time have found a complex organic molecule in space that bears the same asymmetric structure as molecules that are key to life on Earth.
The researchers said on Tuesday they detected the complex organic molecule called propylene oxide in a giant cloud of gas and dust near the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
‘Twisty’ Molecule Essential To Life Spotted In Deep Space For 1st Time
“Molecules with “right-handed” and “left-handed” versions are essential to all life on Earth, and have been found in meteors and comets. Now, for the first time, one has been spotted in interstellar space.”
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