An Evolutionary Mystery: Mirror Asymmetry in Life and in Space (Rebroadcast)

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A right and left hand that look like space nebulas
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As this is a rebroadcast, there will not be a live questions and answer session.  

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. What clues can we glean from molecules in space to discover the possible interstellar origins of this "homochirality?"

Join Astrochemist Brett McGuire of currently the McGuire Group at MIT to find out how chemists are using state-of-the-art tools to peer into the center of our galaxy for the answers!

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

Webinar Details

  • Thursday, August 18, 2022 @ 2–3pm ET
  • Free to Register with ACS ID
  • Slides will be available to download on the day of the webinar


Meet the Experts  

Brett McGuire
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Ryan Fortenberry
University of Mississippi

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