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Chemical Reaction: The Chirality of Life

By: Steve Herman
Posted: October 14, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 4

Life on earth is asymmetrical, and we end with another significant example of asymmetry. As stated earlier, the Big Bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter, which would have immediately self-annihilated. That clearly did not happen—we are here! We owe our existence to a very small asymmetry between matter and antimatter. Life, the Universe, and Everything is not just a book by Douglas Adams—it is part of the chemistry of every bit of protein in our body.

General reference:

RM Hazen, “Life’s Rocky Start,” Scientific America, April 2001

References

  1. www.bestofneworleans.com/dispatch/2002-05-07/feat6.html
  2. http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/7920/7920chiral.html