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TNAs [(l)-α-threofuranosyl oligonucleotides] containing vicinally connected (3′→2′) phosphodiester bridges undergo informational base pairing in antiparallel strand orientation and are capable of cross-pairing with RNA and DNA. Being derived from a sugar containing only four carbons, TNA is structurally the simplest of all potentially natural oligonucleotide-type nucleic acid alternatives studied thus far. This, along with the base-pairing properties of TNA, warrants close scrutiny of the system in the context of the problem of RNA's origin.
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