Nature is chiral

Web Adapted Version of the Nobel Poster from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

  The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2001     

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The word chiral derives from the Greek word ceir (cheir), meaning hand. Our hands are chiral – the right hand is a mirror image of the left – as are most of life’s molecules such as (R)-alanine and (S)-alanine, which are mirror images of each other.

In our cells we find only one form of this amino acid, (S)-alanine. The same is true for enzymes, antibodies, hormones and DNA.

Based on materials from the 2001 Nobel Poster for Chemistry.

To cite this section
MLA style: Nature is chiral. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2022. Thu. 29 Sep 2022. <>

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