UCLA life scientists unlock mystery of how ‘handedness’ arises

UCLA life scientists unlock mystery of how ‘handedness’ arises – The overwhelming majority of proteins and other functional molecules in our bodies display a striking molecular characteristic: They can exist in two distinct forms that are mirror images of each other, like your right hand and left hand. Surprisingly, each of our bodies prefers only one of these molecular forms. Now, UCLA chemists have reported the latest on this phenomenom of chirality or "handedness" Reference: T. G. Mason et al, 'Local chiral symmetry breaking in triatic liquid crystals,' Nature Communications, 2012; 3: 801 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1803

UCLA life scientists unlock mystery of how ‘handedness’ arises – The overwhelming majority of proteins and other functional molecules in our bodies display a striking molecular characteristic: They can exist in two distinct forms that are mirror images of each other, like your right hand and left hand. Surprisingly, each of our bodies prefers only one of these molecular forms. Now, UCLA chemists have reported the latest on this phenomenom of chirality or "handedness" Reference: T. G. Mason et al, 'Local chiral symmetry breaking in triatic liquid crystals,' Nature Communications, 2012; 3: 801 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1803

Author: Robert Slinn

Robert Slinn is ChemSpy's guest columnist. You can read his chemical news updates under the banner "Slinn Pickings". Robert is a Chartered Chemist (CChem), Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) and is a Visiting Researcher in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool. He has extensive experience in R&D: synthesis, analysis and analytical methods development; troubleshooting, consultancy, and teaching/training methods in industry and in academia. Robert is also 'Physical Methods' author for the Specialist Periodical Report series 'Organophosphorus Chemistry', published by Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK. Robert has worked alongside David on the Bedside Book of Chemistry and a major Thomson-Reuters report on the state of the pharmaceutical industry for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry