Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 105–113 | Cite as

The role of chirality in the origin of life

  • Abdus Salam


The role of chirality in the theories that determine the origin of life are reemphasized—in particular the fact that almost all amino acids utilized in living systems are of thel type. Starting fromZ0 interactions, I speculate on an explanation of the above fact in terms of quantum mechanical cooperative and condensation phenomena (possibly in terms of ane-n condensate where thee-n system has the same status as Cooper-pairing), which could give rise to second-order phase transitions (includingd tol transformations) below a critical temperatureTc. As a general rule,Tc is a low temperature. From this, it is conceivable that the earth provided too hot a location for the production ofl amino acids. I suggest laboratory testing of these ideas by looking for the appropriate phase transitions.

Key words

Prebiotic chirality Origin of life Condensation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdus Salam
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.International Centre for Theoretical PhysicsTriesteItaly
  2. 2.Department of Theoretical PhysicsImperial CollegeLondonUK

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