Now he thinks he's found it, in a sugar called tagatose. He and the other Biospherics scientists who have studied the tagatose molecule hope to prove the substance's usefulness as a noncaloric sweetener and find a cheap way to produce it in large quantities. This spring, three of the company's scientists received a patent for what they say is a low-cost method of synthesizing the sugar.
Chemical compounds can exist in forms that are mirror images of each other. Like gloves, they can be either left-handed or right-handed.
Sugars are such "handed" molecules. Human...