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Book Chapter

Origin of Homochirality


Klussmann,  Martin
Research Group Klußmann, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

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Klussmann, M., & Blackmond, D. G. (2009). Origin of Homochirality. In J. Zaikowski, & M. Friedrich (Eds.), Chemical Evolution II: From the Origins of Life to Modern Society (pp. 133-145). ACS Symposium Series.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-D873-3
Chirality, the property of an object to be
non-superimposable with its mirror image, is a common feature of biological molecules and has intrigued chemists for a long time. Of all the possible combinations, nature uses nearly exclusively L-amino acids and D-sugars and most other chiral molecules in enantiomerically pure form, too. This biological homochirality is regarded as a prerequisite of life as we know it, but how it evolved from a presumably racemic prebiotic Earth remains an open question. It is therefore linked to the general question of the origin of life on Earth itself. An overview is given on this topic focussing on recent experimental results, theoretical models and scenarios that might hold the clues to one of the biggest puzzles of science.