Monday, April 7, 2008

Chirality of amino acids due to meteorite star exposure?

I've just started checking out Science Daily again. The interface is still pretty cluttered but interesting article here:
It suggests our amino acids are left rather than right-handed due to exposure to polarised light from neutron stars. Given that it has recently been shown that meteorites can contain up to 250ppm amino acids, this mechanism of chrality lends further support to the idea that metorites from early bombardment events are the primary source of early AAs. As Breslow points out:
"This work is related to the probability that there is life somewhere else. Everything that is going on on Earth occurred because the meteorites happened to land here. But they are obviously landing in other places. If there is another planet that has the water and all of the things that are needed for life, you should be able to get the same process rolling."
Life forms composed of proteins made in turn of chains of amino acids that is. I look forward to his work on nucleic acids.