Volume 93 Issue 20 | p. 29 | Concentrates
Issue Date: May 18, 2015

Achiral Surface Promotes Chiral Amplification

Homochirality: Adsorption-mediated enantiomeric enrichment of aspartic acid does not require surface chirality
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Life Sciences
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Biological SCENE
Keywords: chirality, enantiomer, enantiomeric excess, homochirality of life

The curious observation that certain biochemical building blocks found in living organisms come almost exclusively in just one enantiomeric form—L for amino acids and D for sugars—has led scientists to propose mechanisms explaining its origins. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have now added another piece to this homochirality-of-life puzzle. Yongju Yun and Andrew J. Gellman determined that adsorption of gas-phase chiral molecules on an achiral surface can amplify the enantiomeric excess . . .

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