Ribozyme Evolution at the Crossroads

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Science  21 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5478, pp. 401-402
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5478.401

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Molecules that have similar sequences usually adopt the same structures and have the same functions. In his Perspective, Joyce explains that this is not always the case. In a remarkable study (Schultes and Bartel), an RNA sequence has been designed that can adopt two different structures, each with a different catalytic function. Joyce details how this study sheds light on the evolution of enzymes.