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On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 12:30 AM, Barry Haworth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> IIRC, organic molecules found in meteorites & such are a mix of left
> and right handed forms, and therefore the product of chemical
> processes, not biological.  Organic molecules from biological
> processes on Earth are all the same "handedness" (as I recall we have
> righted handed sugars and left handed proteins, or maybe the other way
> round).  Organic molecules on the moon doesn't imply life there unless
> and until they can be shown to be "handed".

I believe that is essentially correct. However, I did read many years ago
(so I may be misremembering) that one argument for "space seeds,"
that is, life originating from/in material arriving on our planet from space,
involved something about light in space being polarized in such a way
that the predominant "handed-ness" of molecules is determined by it.
Consequently, this argument ran, it is likely that all (carbon based) life
everywhere in the universe uses molecules of the same handedness. If
that's correct, then chiral molecules on the moon may have a
predominant handedness without being the product of life.

I am sure I did not understand the claim that light in space is polarized.
Still don't, to tell the truth.

--
 Helge Moulding
 mailto:[log in to unmask]                        Just another guy
 http://hmoulding.cjb.net/                        with a weird name