Chiral comes from the Greek word for hand, χειρ (cheir). Thus humans and chemicals can be left-handed and right-handed.1848: Louis Pasteur is playing with polarized lights and crystals. Why do some that seem to be identical rotate the light in different directions? Chiral molecules have been discovered. They are as identical as I am to my reflection in a mirror.
1954: Vladimir Prelog begins to delve into the chirality of organic molecules including antibiotics. But Scientists struggle in creating a specific molecule in the chirality they desire. Just because they are mirror images does not mean they do the same thing in our body.
1968: William Knowles finds a catalyst. The problem of creating the biologically active chirality has been solved. His catalyst helps to bind the atoms to the right sides (which could be right or left) of a molecule. The production L-DOPA comes into being.
1969: Dr. Oliver Sacks does his Awakenings.
photo by Wa-J
Chiral comes from the Greek word for hand, χειρ (cheir). Thus humans and chemicals can be left-handed and right-handed.