International Journal of Astrobiology

Origin of homochirality in biological systems

S. Toxvaerd a1
a1 Department of Chemistry, H. C. Ørsted Institute, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark e-mail:

Article author query
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Models for segregation of racemic mixtures of chiral amphiphiles and lipophiles in aqueous solutions show that the amphiphiles with active isomerization kinetics can perform a spontaneous symmetry break during the segregation and self-assemble to homochiral matter. Based on physico-chemical facts, it is argued that D-glyceraldehyde, which was synthesized from the volatiles at the hydrothermal reactors at the origin of life, could be the origin of homochirality in biological systems.

(Published Online September 8 2005)
(Received March 14 2005)
(Accepted April 12 2005)

Key Words: D-glyceraldehyde; homochirality; origin of life.