Archive for August, 2012

Dinosaurs, baboons, and science journalists

It is well known within organic chemistry circles that there is a very strong bias toward L rather than D homochirality in the structure of earth's organic compounds. A recent paper offered a speculation about a possible explanation of the bias:

If there was … right circularly polarized light with energy in the uv or higher irradiating the asteroid belt when the amino acids were present on a particle that later came to Earth, this could account for the small excesses of the L anantiomers seen in the &#x03B1-methyl amino acids.

And what did the PR/media machine do to make news out of this finding? The headlines ultimately mutated as far as this:

Claim: Advanced dinosaurs may rule other planets

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