I remember reading a sci-fi book, and a plot point was a machine that could turn a 3-dimensional object around in hyperspace, turning something left-handed into something right-handed

It was supposed to be useful in surgical replacements of limbs, etc.

But then I had a hard time suspending disbelief because all the proteins, DNA, etc. in the flipped tissue would also be its own chiral opposite

None of the enzymes would work

It wouldn't be able to metabolise anything

Oh no

image/svg+xml Follow

@acciobooks So imagine you have a 2-dimensional figure in a plane, say it's a lower-case "b"

You can move it anywhere you like on the plane, or even rotate it, but you can't pick it up

So you can turn it so that the long stroke of the "b" is on the bottom and the loop is pointing up rather than to the right

But you can't turn it so that it looks like a "d"

To do that, you'd need to take it out of the plane

Similarly with 3-dimensional figures and hyperspace

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