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Orig Life Evol Biosph. 1999 Mar;29(2):215-9.

The extraterrestrial origin of the homochirality of biomolecules--rebuttal to a critique.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Having concluded that abiotic terrestrial mechanisms would have been ineffectual for the origin of terrestrial homochirality, we have proposed an alternative extraterrestrial scenario involving stereoselective ultraviolet photolysis of the racemic constituents of interstellar grain mantles by circularly polarized synchrotron radiation from neutron stars, followed by terrestrial accretion of the resulting chiral molecules via cometary impact. Recently L. Keszthelyi (1995) has reviewed a number of our arguments and advanced several erroneous calculations and conclusions purporting to negate them. We offer here points of rebuttal to Keszthelyi's criticisms, and support our inferences with recent data regarding indigenous enantiomeric excesses of L-amino acids in the Murchison meteorite.

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