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First Detection of Chiral Molecules in Space

slo1
Posts: 4,320
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6/16/2016 9:56:58 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
http://www.rsc.org...

Astronomers have found a chiral molecule in space for the first time. Although such left-handed or right-handed molecules have been detected on meteorites, the result offers a new line of enquiry into the origins of life on Earth.

Brett McGuire's team found propylene oxide in Sagittarius B2, an interstellar cloud and star-forming region " Science/AAAS
Some organic molecules can exist in two seemingly identical forms that are mirror images of each other, but have different chemical properties " enantiomers. But biological molecules, such as sugars or amino acids, only exist in one chiral form on Earth. Many chemists are struggling to explain this disparity, with many believing the origins of homochirality can be found in space.

In an attempt to retrace life"s steps, Brett McGuire and colleagues at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard University, US, pointed the Parkes radio telescope, Australia, towards the centre of our solar system. The team found the chiral molecule propylene oxide in Sagittarius B2, a giant molecular cloud and star-forming region.

Although the measurement in of itself doesn"t explain homochirality, the team argue the sensitivity of such telescopes could pick up whether an enantiometric excess exists in space.
slo1
Posts: 4,320
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6/16/2016 9:59:49 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
Very nice find. Chirality is yet a great mystery as far as how the biological compounds formed naturally on par with the great mystery of matter and how we have more matter than antimatter in the universe.

This is a nice find.
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
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6/17/2016 12:42:15 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/16/2016 9:59:49 PM, slo1 wrote:
Very nice find. Chirality is yet a great mystery as far as how the biological compounds formed naturally on par with the great mystery of matter and how we have more matter than antimatter in the universe.

This is a nice find.

It's annoying that news like this goes unnoticed, especially considering it's relevance to our origins.
Meh!