Definitions for homochirality

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Wiktionary

  1. homochirality(Noun)

    The state or condition of being homochiral.

Freebase

  1. Homochirality

    Homochirality describes a property of some molecules made up of chiral units. A molecule is said to be homochiral if all the molecule's constituent units are of the same chiral form. In biology homochirality is a common property of amino acids and sugars. The origin of this phenomenon is not clearly understood. It is unclear if homochirality has a purpose, however it appears to be a form of information storage. One suggestion is that it reduces entropy barriers in the formation of large organized molecules. It has been experimentally verified that amino acids form large aggregates in larger abundance from enantiopure substrates than from racemic ones. Homochirality is said to evolve in three distinct steps: mirror-symmetry breaking creates a minute enantiomeric imbalance and is key to homochirality, chiral amplification is a process of enantiomeric enrichment and chiral transmission allows the transfer of chirality of one set of molecules to another. It is also entirely possible that homochirality is simply a result of the natural autoamplification process of life—that either the formation of life as preferring one chirality or the other was a chance rare event which happened to occur with the chiralities we observe, or that all chiralities of life emerged rapidly but due to catastrophic events and strong competition, the other unobserved chiral preferences were wiped out by the preponderance and metabolic, enantiomeric enrichment from the 'winning' chirality choices. The emergence of chirality consensus as a natural autoamplification process has been associated with the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

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"homochirality." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/homochirality>.

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