Homochirality in life: Two equal runners, one tripped

Mark M. Green, Vipul Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Strong arguments can be found in the literature addressed to the question of the origin of homochirality in life, supporting the hypothesis that primordial life could have evolved in both homochiral forms and that early on when life was still rarely found, random events led to the survival of only one of these living mirror images. This proposal is an alternative to the generally accepted view that small enantiomeric excesses of biologically important molecules were amplified to homochirality prior to life's origin. Acceptance of the possibility of "two equal runners" leads to the importance of research investigations on routes to formation of ensembles of racemic mixtures of isotactic biologically interesting polymers, supramolecular entities and aggregates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalOrigins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Chirality
  • Origin of biological homochirality
  • Origin of life
  • Polymers
  • Racemic homochiral life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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