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  • Film Guides: The Double Helix

    Film Guides: The Double Helix

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement The Double Helix. This short film describes the evidence that led James Watson and Francis Crick to the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA and how the structure immediately revealed how genetic information is stored and inherited.

  • The Double Helix

    The Double Helix

    Short Film

    (16 min 53 sec) The Double Helix is the story of the scientists and evidence involved in one of the most important scientific quests of the 20th century: the discovery of the structure of DNA. Also available in Spanish.

  • 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.

  • DNA transcription (advanced detail)

    DNA transcription (advanced detail)

    Animation

    (1 min 55 sec) The process of copying DNA into messenger RNA (mRNA) is called transcription. Transcription factors assemble at the promoter region of a gene, bringing an RNA polymerase enzyme to form the transcription initiation complex. Activator proteins at the enhancer region of DNA then activate the transcription initiation complex. RNA polymerase unzips a small portion of the DNA and copies one strand into an mRNA molecule. Also available in Spanish.

  • DNA transcription (basic detail)

    DNA transcription (basic detail)

    Animation

    (1 min 55 sec) The first phase of the process of reading DNA information to make proteins starts with a molecule unzipping the DNA. The molecule then copies one of the strands of DNA into a strand of RNA, a close cousin of DNA. This process is called transcription. Also available in Spanish.

  • RNA Folding

    RNA Folding

    Animation

    (33 sec) Since RNA is single-stranded, it can fold upon itself and form structures that are protein-like in both appearance and functionality.