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Why Some Molecules Have Evil Twins


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 Biology   |   Chemistry   |   Science
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A tiny change in a molecule’s geometry completely changes its effects on the human body.
How We Made This Video (Ever & David Talk About Drugs):

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If you want to learn more about this topic, start your googling with:
Enantiomers: Molecules that are mirror images of each other.
Chirality: A geometric property that makes a molecule non-superimposable on its mirror image.
Methamphetamine: A central nervous system stimulant.
Levmetamfetamine: The new name for the left-handed version of methamphetamine, which acts as a vasoconstrictor.
Carvone: A terpenoid found in many essential oils.


Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: David Goldenberg (@dgoldenberg)
Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
Video Narrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Kate Yoshida, Emily Elert, Peter Reich
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:


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Breaking Bad:



Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL., et al. “The Making or Breaking of Covalent Bonds Involves Large Energy Changes”. Molecular Cell Biology. Section 2:1 (22). Retrieved from:

Wallach, J. “A Comprehensive Guide to the Clandestine Chemistry of 'Breaking Bad'”
Vice. (2013). Retrieved from:

Thanks to the following experts for their input and feedback:

Jason Wallach, Vice writer and chemist

Donna Nelson, University of Oklahoma chemistry professor and technical advisor to ‘Breaking Bad’

Adam Braunschweig, CUNY chemistry professor (

Justin Dragna, University of Texas chemistry professor

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