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Beyond A, C, G, and T: augmenting nature’s alphabet

A.A. Henry, F.E. Romesberg, Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. (2003) 7:727–733.
pubpic2003henryThis review provides a critical comparison of the third base pair candidates and discusses the further work required to expand the genetic alphabet.

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Flexibility and molecular recognition in the immune system

R. Jimenez, G. Salazar, K.K. Baldridge, F.E. Romesberg, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2003) 100:92–97.
pubpic2003jimenezWe use photon echo spectroscopy to measure the response of three antibody-binding sites to perturbation from electronic excitation of a bound antigen, fluorescein. The three antibodies show motions that range in time scale from tens of femtoseconds to nanoseconds. This work was featured on the cover.

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Femtosecond fluorescence upconversion studies of excited-state proton-transfer dynamics in 2-(2 ‘-hydroxyphenyl)benzoxazole (HBO) in liquid solution and DNA

H. Wang, H. Zhang, O.K. Abou-Zied, C. Yu, F.E. Romesberg, M. Glasbeek, Chem. Phys. Lett. (2003) 367:599–608.
pubpic200wangWe find that the typical time for the excited-state intramolecular proton-transfer reaction of the syn-enol tautomer in solution and in DNA is 150 fs. Picosecond rise and decay components in the fluorescence transients with characteristic times between 3 and 25 ps are observed and attributed to the effects of vibrational cooling.