The path to understanding the origin and early evolution of life on Earth is consistently met with adversity by chemical constraints and evolutionary uncertainties. Prebiotic chemistry must consider nucleic acid biogenesis and the functional requirements of these biomolecules to sustain and replicate life. Research presented in this document reveals evolutionary progression of nucleic acid development, characterization and potential application in structural DNA nanotechnology and disease advancement. First, this dissertation describes the synthesis of a glycerol nucleic acid (GNA) four-helix junction. This unique scaffold provides a new nanomaterial in the development of structures in DNA nanotechnology. Next, the use of Therminator DNA polymerase is addressed with the ability to faithfully synthesize a DNA-tagged RNA aptamer. This enzymatic reaction allows for a one-step process of linking functional RNA to DNA, also for use in DNA structural nanotechnology. Finally, the document describes the use of messenger RNA (mRNA) display as a means to identify translation enhancer elements (TEE) associated with internal ribosomal entry sites (IRES). After three additional rounds of in vitro selection, several sequences were identified with the ability to enhance ribosomal protein translation. In summary, the identification of these TEE of mRNA sequences and development of synthetic tools and methods will greatly contribute to the advancement of general understanding of molecular evolution.