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Science. 1999 Jun 25;284(5423):2118-24.

Chemical etiology of nucleic acid structure.

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  • 1The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Systematic chemical studies indicate that the capability of Watson-Crick base-pairing is widespread among potentially natural nucleic acid alternatives taken from RNA's close structural neighborhood. A comparison of RNA and such alternatives with regard to chemical properties that are fundamental to the biological function of RNA provides chemical facts that may contain clues to RNA's origin.

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