Crossover Reactions Between Synthetic Replicators Yield Active and Inactive Recombinants

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Science  22 May 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5060, pp. 1179-1180
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5060.1179


Self-replicating molecules can be synthesized through the covalent linkage of two complementary subunits to give a self-complementary structure. Complementarity refers to sizes, shapes, and the weak intermolecular forces involved in molecular recognition between the two subunits. In order to provide a model system for evolution at the molecular These reactions gave rise to new structural types. The ability (or inability) of the new recombinants to catalyze their own formation is shown to be a consequence of their molecular shapes.

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