A 'Sphinx' Could Explain Biology Handedness

Chirality—left- and right-handedness—is found throughout biochemistry's twists and swirls, from DNA helixes to protein building blocks.

A recent study on triangular tessellations may explain why biology prefers one orientation over the other.

The study by a small US-German team suggests that geometry and basic physics may explain some of life's most remarkable patterns.

“The Universe shouldn't favor one handedness over another, but at scale after scale, chiral preferences emerge,” explains Chan Zuckerberg Biohub biophysicist Greg Huber. "Chirality can be very mysterious." 

Despite rotation, mirrored chiral molecules can't be positioned completely over each other, like our palms up. Though nearly identical, left- and right-handed molecules can have very disti

Though nearly identical, left- and right-handed molecules can have very distinct effects on the world. 

Drugs with reversed molecules may harm more than assist.

Organic molecules aren't the only ones with orientation. In biological systems, minerals can be chiral. Examples include snails' spiral calcium carbonate shells and bone minerals. 

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