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Free Content Cause of Chirality Consensus

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Biological macromolecules, proteins and nucleic acids are composed exclusively of chirally pure monomers. The chirality consensus appears vital for life and it has even been considered as a prerequisite of life. However the primary cause for the ubiquitous handedness has remained obscure. We propose that the chirality consensus is a kinetic consequence that follows from the principle of increasing entropy, i.e. the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Entropy increases when an open system evolves by decreasing gradients in free energy with more and more efficient mechanisms of energy transduction. The rate of entropy increase is the universal fitness criterion of natural selection that favors diverse functional molecules and drives the system to the chirality consensus to attain and maintain high-entropy non-equilibrium states.

Keywords: Catalysis; chemical evolution; entropy; handedness; natural process; natural selection

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2008

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  • Current Chemical Biology aims to publish full-length and mini reviews on exciting new developments at the chemistry-biology interface, covering topics relating to Chemical Synthesis, Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface and Chemical Mechanisms of Biological Systems.

    Current Chemical Biology covers the following areas: Chemical Synthesis (Syntheses of biologically important macromolecules including proteins, polypeptides, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides etc.; Asymmetric synthesis; Combinatorial synthesis; Diversity-oriented synthesis; Template-directed synthesis; Biomimetic synthesis; Solid phase biomolecular synthesis; Synthesis of small biomolecules: amino acids, peptides, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleosides; and Natural product synthesis).

    Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface (Chemical informatics; Macromolecular catalysts and receptors; Enzymatic synthesis; Biosynthetic engineering; Combinatorial biosynthesis; Plant cell based chemistry; Bacterial and viral cell based chemistry; Chemistry of cellular processes in plants/animals; Receptor chemistry; Cell signaling chemistry; Drug design through understanding of disease processes; Synthetic biology; New high throughput screening techniques; Small molecular array fabrication; Chemical genomics; Chemical and biological approaches to carbohydrates proteins and nucleic acids design; Chemical and biological regulation of biosynthetic pathways; and Unnatural biomolecular analogs).

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