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9780070323995 Certain compounds, such as amino acids, the building blocks of living matter, exist in two forms, a left-handed and a right-handed, which are mirror images. This book offers a account of these molecular structures and the ways in which scientific thinking about them has evolved, from Pasteur's discovery of this "dissymmetry" to the present time. The stereochemist, Jean Jacques, presents an overview of the nature of atoms and molecules, as well as the various tools which science has developed to study them. He also explains how these discoveries have influenced modern drug research, and how the break in symmetry found at the molecular level seems to be reflected in the structure of the universe itself.