Salla Jaakkola, Vivek Sharma and Arto Annila Pages 153 - 158 ( 6 )
Biological macromolecules, proteins and nucleic acids are composed exclusively of chirally pure monomers. The chirality consensus appears vital for life and it has even been considered as a prerequisite of life. However the primary cause for the ubiquitous handedness has remained obscure. We propose that the chirality consensus is a kinetic consequence that follows from the principle of increasing entropy, i.e. the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Entropy increases when an open system evolves by decreasing gradients in free energy with more and more efficient mechanisms of energy transduction. The rate of entropy increase is the universal fitness criterion of natural selection that favors diverse functional molecules and drives the system to the chirality consensus to attain and maintain high-entropy non-equilibrium states.
Catalysis, chemical evolution, entropy, handedness, natural process, natural selection
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Viikinkaari 3, FI-00014,Finland.