Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Origin of Evolution versus Origin of Life: A Shift of Paradigm
Previous Article in Journal
Flavonoid Analyses and Antimicrobial Activity of Various Parts of Phaleria macrocarpa (Scheff.) Boerl Fruit
Previous Article in Special Issue
Required Levels of Catalysis for Emergence of Autocatalytic Sets in Models of Chemical Reaction Systems
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Supernovae, Neutrinos and the Chirality of Amino Acids

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan
Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(6), 3432-3444;
Received: 19 April 2011 / Revised: 12 May 2011 / Accepted: 20 May 2011 / Published: 31 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Origin of Life 2011)
PDF [220 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


A mechanism for creating an enantioenrichment in the amino acids, the building blocks of the proteins, that involves global selection of one handedness by interactions between the amino acids and neutrinos from core-collapse supernovae is defined. The chiral selection involves the dependence of the interaction cross sections on the orientations of the spins of the neutrinos and the 14N nuclei in the amino acids, or in precursor molecules, which in turn couple to the molecular chirality. It also requires an asymmetric distribution of neutrinos emitted from the supernova. The subsequent chemical evolution and galactic mixing would ultimately populate the Galaxy with the selected species. The resulting amino acids could either be the source thereof on Earth, or could have triggered the chirality that was ultimately achieved for Earth’s proteinaceous amino acids. View Full-Text
Keywords: amino acids; chirality; origin of life; molecular clouds; supernova neutrinos amino acids; chirality; origin of life; molecular clouds; supernova neutrinos
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Boyd, R.N.; Kajino, T.; Onaka, T. Supernovae, Neutrinos and the Chirality of Amino Acids. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 3432-3444.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top