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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Medical School
Department of Pharmacology

PI: Frank H. Burton

Oligonucleotide Abiogenesis

This researcher is performing three-dimensional modeling, in Maestro, of theoretical non-replicative RNA oligonucleotide reproduction complexes. These complexes are selected on the basis of their theoretical structural capacity to facilitate or catalyze random oligonucleotide polymerization and non-random template reproduction, on the basis of their ability to form crystalline lattices with predictable three-dimensional structures, and on the basis of the Macromodel-calculated minimal energy states of their potential alternate conformations based on phosphate-backbone bond rotation. The researcher is primarily using the BSCL for this project. Data obtained from these three-dimensional computer simulations will later guide the chemical synthesis and annealing of real-world oligonucleotide complexes for test-tube confirmation of their predicted catalytic capacity and crystallographic confirmation of their predicted three-dimensional structures.