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  • The Chemical Structure of DNA

    The Chemical Structure of DNA

    Animation

    (2 min 44 sec) DNA's chemical properties can be harnessed for a variety of biotechnology applications.

  • Watson constructing base pair models

    Watson constructing base pair models

    Clip

    (1 min 42 sec) During the process of trying to elucidate the structure of DNA, Jim Watson made some cardboard models to try to understand how DNA nucleotides are paired. It helped him visualize how hydrogen atoms of paired nucleotides interact with each other to form a symmetrical structure that fits the double helix model.

  • Pauling triple helix model

    Pauling triple helix model

    Animation

    (29 sec) One of the failed hypothetical models of DNA is Linus Pauling's triple helix model. This structure would be unstable under normal cellular conditions.

  • Damage to DNA leads to mutation

    Damage to DNA leads to mutation

    Animation

    (1 min 7 sec) Reactive molecules, such as free radicals, and solar ultraviolet radiation can lead to mutations in DNA. Most mutations are corrected, but in rare cases mutations can accumulate and cause diseases such as cancer.

  • Chargaff's Ratio

    Chargaff's Ratio

    Animation

    (49 sec) In 1950, Erwin Chargaff published a paper stating that in the DNA of any given species, the ratio of adenine to thymine is equal, as is the ratio of cytosine to guanine. This became known as Chargaff's ratio, and it was an important clue for solving the structure of DNA.

  • Building blocks of DNA

    Building blocks of DNA

    Animation

    (27 sec) Adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T) are the components of nucleic acid that make up DNA.