One ring to transcribe them all...

This just came out last week. It's a project I did with an old classmate of mine from MIT who showed how important the 5-membered ribose ring of the DNA sugar-phosphate backbone is for transcriptional fidelity. When they opened it, or unlocked it, as they describe, the polymerase no longer discriminated between different bases. It takes me back to the time as first year grad students when we built an enormous 3D model of DNA in JoAnne Stubbe's class. Good times. 

A Chemical Perspective on Transcriptional Fidelity: Dominant Contributions of Sugar Integrity Revealed by Unlocked Nucleic Acids

Liang Xu, Steven W. Plouffe, Jenny Chong, Jesper Wengel, Dong Wang. Angew. Chemie Int. Ed. Volume 52Issue 47pages 12341–12345November 18, 2013