Make your own double helix

The Dinky Amigos (or nucleotides, as scientists insist on calling them) hang around in a massive group called DNA.

When not busy copying itself or giving orders, DNA is generally found in a shape similar to a spiral staircase known as a double helix. This structure was discovered in 1953 by University of Cambridge scientists Francis Watson and James Crick. DNA is too tiny to see, so they used X-ray data from scientists Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins at King's College, London to work it out.

The double helix is made up of two opposite strands of DNA, held together by attractive forces called hydrogen bonds. Each strand of DNA is made up of a long line of Dinky Amigos. They use their feet to join up with each other. In science speak, this line of feet is called a sugar-phosphate backbone
Dinky Amigos_Helix
DNa Double Helix

Make your own helix

Download the PDF and fold your own helix, complete with Dinky Amigos!

The video on the right was created by Alex Bateman at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and will demonstrate  how to fold your helix. 

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