A major goal of synthetic biology is to recapitulate emergent properties of life. Despite a significant body of work, a longstanding question that remains to be answered is how such a complex system arose? In this dissertation, synthetic nucleic acid molecules with alternative sugar-phosphate backbones were investigated as potential ancestors of DNA and RNA. Threose nucleic acid (TNA) is capable of forming stable helical structures with complementary strands of itself and RNA. This provides a plausible mechanism for genetic information transfer between TNA and RNA.
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- Partial requirement for: Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2011Note typethesis
- Includes bibliographical references (p. 178-189)Note typebibliography
- Field of study: Chemistry