Navigation Links
Argonne scientists discover possible mechanism for creating 'handedness' in biological molecules
Date:12/1/2008

ARGONNE, Ill. (December 1, 2008) The basic molecules that make up all living things have a predetermined chirality or "handedness," similar to the way people are right- or left-handed. This chirality has a profound influence on the chemistry and molecular interactions of living organisms. The inception of chirality from the elementary building blocks of matter is one of the great mysteries of the origin of life. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a way to induce this handedness in pre-biological molecules.

"Understanding how the molecules necessary for life originated is one of the most basic scientific questions in biochemistry," Argonne chemist Richard Rosenberg said. "Chirality plays a fundamental role in biological processes and researchers have been trying to discover the mechanisms that led to this property for years."

Rosenberg used X-rays from the Advanced Photon Source to bombard chiral molecules adsorbed on a magnetic substrate and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to track changes in the molecular bonds.

He found that changing the magnetization direction in relation to the high-intensity X-ray beam created an excess of one chirality over another. Changing the magnetization direction reverses the spin polarization of the secondary, or low-energy, electrons emitted from the substance.

Iron is a common element and is magnetic in many form and ionizing radiation and magnetic fields are prevalent throughout the universe.

Based on the Argonne results, it is conceivable that chirality could have been introduced by irradiation of molecules as they traveled through the universe while adsorbed on a magnetized substrate in a dust cloud, meteor, comet or on a primitive planet.

"Our study shows that spin-polarized secondary electrons interacting with chiral molecules could produce a significant excess of a given chirality in pre-biological molecules," Rosenberg said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Brock Cooper
bcooper@anl.gov
630-252-5565
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Argonne helps China create cleaner Beijing for 2008 Olympics
2. Argonne National Lab acquires first SiCortex SC5832
3. New Argonne study may shed light on protein-drug interactions
4. Research at Argonnes Advanced Photon Source reveals structure and behavior of collagen
5. Bioinformatics technology developed at Argonne provides new insight into microbial activities
6. Argonne scientists develop techniques for creating molecular movies
7. Argonne scientists use lasers to align molecules
8. Argonne-SRNL agreement supports critical DOE, national priorities
9. Argonne-University of Chicago joint venture bolsters genomic sequencing capabilities
10. Integrated Fuel Technologies gets worldwide license for Argonne-developed Diesel DeNOx Catalyst
11. NIH awards Argonne $800,000 to develop tool to measure distances within proteins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... India , March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture ... Touchless Biometric), Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... at a CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , March 21, 2017 ... recognition analytics company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today ... Sheridan as director of public safety business development. ... of diversified law enforcement experience, including a focus on ... Vigilant. In his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... Germany , March 13, 2017 Future of security: ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face ... forms the basis to identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- According to a report by Transparency Market Research ... to the presence of a large pool of participants; however, only ... and Sigma-Aldrich, compete with each other in this market. With Proliant ... 76% of this market in 2016.  ... As of now, a large number of vendors ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... In today,s pre-market research, Stock-Callers.com ... Biotech industry: Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO), Eyegate Pharmaceuticals ... and Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLS ). ... its rating on Pharmaceuticals/Biotechnology to "Overweight" from "Market Weight." Learn more ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), U.K. Biobank and GSK to generate ... U.K. Biobank resource. The initiative will enable researchers to gain ... medicines for a wide range of serious and life threatening ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017  Ascendis Pharma ... its innovative TransCon technology to address significant unmet ... results for the full year ended December 31, ... year for our company as we broadened our ... leading, integrated rare disease company with an initial ...
Breaking Biology Technology: