Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Was natural β radioactivity of carbon-14 the origin of optical one-handedness in life?

  • 47 Accesses

  • 10 Citations

Abstract

14C labelled solid D- and L-leucine decomposes with significantly different rates by auto-radiolysis. The β-decarboxylation ratio (103xCO2%)D/(103xCO2%)L was found to be (2.3±0.2)/(1.2±0.2)= 1.9±0.5 for samples kept in evacuated tubes at room temperature for 1 year /sp. activity: 0.9 MBq g−1; β-dose: 224 Gy/. EPR indicates a 10% higher radical concentration in the stored solid D-leucine samples than in L-leucine. The relevance of these results to the question of origin of optical onehandedness in life, is discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.

    B. Nordén,J. Mol. Evol., 11 /1976/ 313.

  2. 2.

    T.D. Lee, C.N. Yang,Phys. Rev., 104 /1956/ 254.

  3. 3.

    C.S. Wu, et al.,Phys. Rev., 105 /1957/ 1413.

  4. 4.

    R.A. Hegstrom,Nature, 297 /1982/ 643.

  5. 5.

    R.A. Hegstrom, D.W. Rein, P.G.H. Sandars,J. Chem. Phys., 73 /1980/ 2329.

  6. 6.

    F. Wester, T.V. Ulbricht, H. Krauch,Naturwiss., 46 /1959/ 68.

  7. 7.

    D.W. Gidley, A. Rich, J.C. Van House,Origins of Life, 11 /1981/ 31.

  8. 8.

    D.C. Walker,Origins of Life, 7 /1976/ 383.

  9. 9.

    D.W. Gidley, A. Rich, J.C. Van House, P.W. Zitzewitz,Nature, 297 /1982/ 639.

  10. 10.

    T.V. Ulbricht,Origins of Life, 11 /1981/ 55.

  11. 11.

    O. Merwitz,Radiat. Environ. Biophys., 13 /1976/ 63.

  12. 12.

    L. Keszthelyi,Origins of Life, 8 /1977/ 299.

  13. 13.

    B. Nordén, J.-O. Liljenzin, R.K. Tokay,J. Mol. Evol., 21 /1985/ 364.

  14. 14.

    J.-O. Liljenzin, R.K. Tokay, B. Nordén, technical note.

  15. 15.

    A. Akaboshi, M. Noda, K. Kewai, H. Mahi, Y. Ito, K. Kawamoto,Origins of Life, 11 /1981/ 23.

  16. 16.

    P.K. Horan, W.D. Taylor, G.K. Strotha, W. Snipes,Biophys. J., 8 /1968/ 164.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tokay, R.K., Nordén, B., Liljenzin, J.-. et al. Was natural β radioactivity of carbon-14 the origin of optical one-handedness in life?. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry Letters 104, 337–347 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02166220

Download citation

Keywords

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Radical Concentration
  • High Radical Concentration