Most molecules used by life exist in two forms that are mirror images of each other. One of the great unanswered questions in our evolutionary history is why all life on Earth, and their critical biological molecules like amino acids and proteins, use only one “hand” of these forms. Sugars are exclusively right-handed, amino acids are left-handed, and even DNA coils into right-handed helices. We call this phenomenon homochirality, but how and why did our single-handed world emerge? Join Brett McGuire of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in this free rebroadcast to find out if we can peer into the center of our galaxy for the answers! Please note that you are watching an edited recording and therefore there will be no possibility to ask live questions to the experts, but there will be trivia polls included to test your knowledge!
What You Will Learn
- What is the impact of homochirality on biology and chemical evolution
- What are the potential origins of homochirality and what are the challenges in studying possible interstellar origins
- What was the first detection of a chiral interstellar molecule and what are the challenges associated with measuring a potential chiral excess in space