RES.TLL-004 | Fall 2013 | Undergraduate

STEM Concept Videos

Structure-Function Properties



In this video, students are introduced to the concept of chiral molecules and the relationship between molecular structure and function. Students first analyze some everyday objects and determine if they are chiral or achiral. Students then extend this idea to small molecules and proteins. Mirror image proteins are discussed, specifically antifreeze proteins.

Learning Objectives

After watching this video students will be able to:

  • Identify chiral objects and molecules.
  • Understand how chirality plays a role in the function of biological compounds.

Funding provided by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Developed by the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) at MIT for SUTD

MIT © 2012

It is highly recommended that the video is paused when prompted so that students are able to attempt the activities on their own and then check their solutions against the video.

During the video, students will:

  • Think of everyday objects that are chiral.
  • Identify objects that are not chiral and try to determine what property of the object makes it achiral.
  • Determine whether a molecule is chiral based on rules presented in the video.
  • Examine the chirality of the primary and secondary structure of the Anti-freeze protein, the symmetry of its binding partner, water, and how these two molecules bind.