ANR grant U.Meierhenrich

Congratulations to Pr. Uwe Meierhenrich, awarded ANR 2019-2022

Partners : Dr. Laurent Nahon, Synchrotron SOLEIL, Gif-sur-Yvette ; Dr. Soeren Hoffmann
ASTRID Synchrotron Aarhus, Denmark
Budget : 240 k€

Amino Acid Asymmetry (AAAs) Proteins and nucleic acids are functional biopolymers composed of L-amino acids and Dribose subunits that break chiral symmetry. The origin of the symmetry-breaking event is unknown. The photochemistry model by which circularly polarized light (cpl) can induce an enantiomeric excess (e.e.) in organic molecules has recently been strengthened. The AAAs project proposes to characterize chiroptical properties of chiral amino acids and their aldehyde precursor molecules for the first time in an environment, where the initial asymmetric interactions between chiral photons and life’s molecular subunit precursors are assumed to occur. Circular dichroism (CD) and anisotropy spectra of amino acids have never been recorded in a such environment. A special cell will be developed that will allow us to generate CD and anisotropy data that will be used for e.e.-inducing experiments in amino acids and their precursors and to thereby decipher the asymmetric origin of biopolymers.

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