Two Questions: What, if anything, is wrong with the following statement: “When NaCl is dissolved in water, the water molecules closest to the ions will tend to orient themselves so that their oxygen atoms point toward the sodium ions and away from the chloride ions.”
The drug thalidomide was once prescribed as a sedative to help with nausea during the early stages of pregnancy. One of its optical isomers, (R)-thalidomide, is the active agent responsible for its sedative effects. It was synthesized, however, as a mixture of both optical isomers – a not uncommon practice that usually causes no problems. Unfortunately, the other optical isomer is a teratogen that led to a horrific series of birth defects characterized by malformed or absent limbs. On the structural formula in panel A, identify the carbon that is responsible for its optical activity (its chiral center) and sketch the structure of the teratogenic form of thalidomide.