Williams, Loren D.
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ItemRNA and Protein: A Match Made in the Hadean(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014-09-09) Williams, Loren D.Biological systems record historical information, as seen in the growth rings of trees. On a molecular level, records are detailed and extensive, connecting us to the pre-history of biology (the origin of life). The most ancient macromolecules in biology are found in the ribosome, which is the RNA-protein complex responsible for the synthesis of all coded protein in living organisms. The catalytic core of the ribosome a deeply-frozen molecular fossil that is older than modern biology. The origins and early development of the ribosome, billions of years ago, remain firmly imprinted in the biochemistry of extant life. The ribosome tells us part of the story of the origin of life. The information contained within the ribosome guides our laboratory in experimentally recapitulating critical chemical and biochemical steps in the origin and early evolution of life.
ItemSingle nucleotide RNA choreography(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006-03-10) Hsiao, Chiaolong ; Mohan, Srividya ; Hershkovitz, Eli ; Tannenbaum, Allen R. ; Williams, Loren D.New structural analysis methods, and a tree formalism re-define and expand the RNA motif concept, unifying what previously appeared to be disparate groups of structures. We find RNA tetraloops at high frequencies, in new contexts, with unexpected lengths, and in novel topologies. The results, with broad implications for RNA structure in general, show that even at this most elementary level of organization, RNA tolerates astounding variation in conformation, length, sequence and context. However the variation is not random; it is well described by four distinct modes, which are 3-2 switches (backbone topology variations), insertions, deletions and strand clips.
ItemDNA intercalation(Georgia Institute of Technology, 1995-07) Williams, Loren D.