Research report 2007 - Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung
Phase behaviour of amino acids and the potential significance for the origin of life
Homogene Katalyse (Prof. Dr. Benjamin List)
MPI für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr
SummaryFor a long time chirality has fascinated chemists, together with the question how nature chose to only use one of two mirror-image forms of chiral molecules. Experiments show that phase behaviour of chiral amino acids in saturated solutions can amplify small imbalances in the amounts of both forms, until basically only one remains. The potential significance for the origin of life is discussed.