Breslow simulated what occurred after the dust settled following a meteor bombardment, when the amino acids on the meteor mixed with the primordial soup. Under "credible prebiotic conditions" -- desert-like temperatures and a little bit of water -- he exposed amino acid chemical precursors to those amino acids found on meteorites.
Breslow and Columbia chemistry grad student Mindy Levine found that these cosmic amino acids could directly transfer their chirality to simple amino acids found in living things. Thus far, Breslow's team is the first to demonstrate that this kind of handedness transfer is possible under these conditions.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Meteorites delivered the 'seeds' of Earth's left-hand life