Chaput’s experiments with the nucleic acid TNA provide an attractive case.
To begin with, TNA uses tetrose sugars, named for the four-carbon ring portion of their structure.
Sequences that bound with the target were recovered and amplified through PCR.
Remarkably, the basic functioning of the genetic code remains the same, whether the organism is a snail or a senator, pointing to a common ancestor in the DNA-based microbial life already flourishing some 3.5 billion years ago.
They are simpler than the five-carbon pentose sugars found in both DNA and RNA and could assemble more easily in a prebiotic world, from two identical two-carbon fragments.