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polarized light
Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

[Rerun] Life's origin points left

Amino acids, which are the basic constituents of proteins, may exist in a right and a left form, but the amino acids contained in the proteins of all living organisms are found only in the left-handed form.  Professor Søren Vrønning Hoffmann from the University of Aarhus has a good explanation for why this could be. We must go back in time before life arose on Earth, where perhaps there was a special light that may have influenced the orientation that all life forms have to this day.

Professor Hoffmann uses, among other things, polarized light from Denmark's strongest particle accelerator, Astrid 2 at the University of Aarhus, to test his theory. Science journalist Jens Degett interviewed Søren Vrønning Hoffmann (in Danish).

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Science Stories is supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.