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    Synthetic polymers and their potential as genetic materials

    Pinheiro, Vitor B. and Loakes, D. and Holliger, P. (2012) Synthetic polymers and their potential as genetic materials. BioEssays 35 (2), pp. 113-122. ISSN 0265-9247.

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    DNA and RNA are the only known natural genetic materials. Systematic modification of each of their chemical building blocks (nucleobase, sugar, and phosphate) has enabled the study of the key properties that make those nucleic acids genetic materials. All three moieties contribute to replication and, significantly, all three moieties can be replaced by synthetic analogs without loss of function. Synthetic nucleic acid polymers capable of storing and propagating information not only expand the central dogma, but also highlight that DNA and RNA are not unique chemical solutions for genetic information storage. By considering replication as a question of information transfer, we propose that any polymer that can be replicated could serve as a genetic material.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): central dogma, expanded genetic alphabet, genetic information, synthetic genetic polymers, XNA
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Structural Molecular Biology, Institute of (ISMB)
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2014 10:25
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:09


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