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How the Science of Chirality Is Helping the Search for Better Drugs and Origins of Life

Many of the building blocks of life exist in two forms that are mirror images of one another – a phenomenon known as chirality that is necessary for life to exist at all. How chirality arose eons ago is one of the great mysteries of science. What served as the first template – back before DNA, RNA and proteins, before the origin of life, in the prebiotic soup, when the nascent building blocks for life were first being formed? What process was responsible for directing amino acids to turn left, and sugars to turn right?

In her Front Row lecture, Donna Blackmond, PhD, shares how deciphering the origins of chirality can help scientists design and develop safer, modern pharmaceuticals and in the search for life on other planets.