How to Make a DNA Model

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Making a DNA model, which is in the form of a double helix, requires using four colors to represent adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine, the four bases that make up the genetic material. Make a DNA model to better understand it with information from a biology teacher in this free video on science.

Part of the Video Series: DNA Structure & Testing
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Video Transcript

Have you ever heard someone use the phrase "She's got her mother's eyes," or "He has his father's smile"? Well, what does that mean exactly? Well, usually it means they end up looking a lot like their parents. And why is that? The magic of DNA. Hi, I'm Janice Crenetti. I've been teaching biology for over twenty years, and I'm here to talk to you today about how to make a DNA model. Well, first of all let's talk about the basics of DNA. DNA is the genetic material that makes you you. It's kind of like the blueprint, or sometimes I'll describe it to my students as being like the recipe that the body follows to make you you. DNA is twisted up, we call this a double helix, two strands that twist around each other. And these two strands are connected by something that's called hydrogen bonds. I'll get more into this in a second. So, it's important to recognize that a DNA model twists. If you were to untwist it it would look like a ladder. DNA is made up of small components called nucleotides. Might be something like this. Well, each nucleotide has got a sugar, it's got a phosphate, what we call backbone, and then it's got one of four different bases that could be attached to it. So if you're making a DNA model, you would have to use four different colors to represent Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, and Thymine. The four bases that make up DNA. Then you'd need to connect them with a phosphate backbone and attach them to a little tiny sugar molecule. This sugar molecule is called Deoxyribose which is the D, where the D in DNA comes from. Construct your ladder with your different bases, A always pairing with T and G always pairing with C, Adenine with Thymine, Guanine with Cytosine. Then twist it up, and you got a pretty accurate model of the double helix that fill the nuclei of every single cell in your body. I'm Janice Crenetti, and this is how to make a DNA model.


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