Racemic dating

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All amino acids in proteins are ‘left-handed’, while all sugars in DNA and RNA, and in the metabolic pathways, are ‘right-handed’.

A 50/50 mixture of left- and right-handed forms is called a racemate or racemic mixture.

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The left and right handed forms have identical free energy (G), so the free energy difference (ΔG) is zero.Racemic polypeptides could not form the specific shapes required for enzymes, because they would have the side chains sticking out randomly.Also, a wrong-handed amino acid disrupts the stabilizing α-helix in proteins.The idea is that right-handed and left-handed substances have identical properties, .The analogy is that our left and right hands grip an achiral (non-chiral) object like a baseball bat equally, but they fit differently into a chiral object like a left-handed glove.

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