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Article

Supernovae, Neutrinos and the Chirality of Amino Acids

1
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
2
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan
3
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; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms12063432
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)
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
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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. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms12063432

AMA Style

Boyd RN, Kajino T, Onaka T. Supernovae, Neutrinos and the Chirality of Amino Acids. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2011; 12(6):3432-3444. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms12063432

Chicago/Turabian Style

Boyd, Richard N.; Kajino, Toshitaka; Onaka, Takashi. 2011. "Supernovae, Neutrinos and the Chirality of Amino Acids" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 12, no. 6: 3432-3444. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms12063432

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