Identify chiral molecules and explain how optical isomerism influences the effects of drugs – use the drug thalidomide as an example
Chiral molecules usually contain at least one carbon atom with four nonidentical substituents. Such a carbon atom is called a chiral center (or sometimes a stereogenic center), using organic-speak. Any molecule that contains a chiral center will be chiral (with the exception of a meso compound).
The Reality of Optical Isomerism In Thalidomide
The means that both enantiomers are formed in a roughly equal mix in the blood. So, even if a drug of only the 'R' isomer had been created, the disaster would not have been averted.