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  • DNA packaging

    DNA packaging

    Animations

    (1 min 44 sec) DNA is tightly packed in the nucleus of every cell. DNA wraps around special proteins called histones, which form loops of DNA called nucleosomes. These nucleosomes coil and stack together to form fibers called chromatin. Chromatin in turn forms larger loops and coils to form chromosomes.

  • Damage to DNA leads to mutation

    Damage to DNA leads to mutation

    Animations

    (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.

  • Coding sequences in DNA

    Coding sequences in DNA

    Animations

    (1 min 5 sec) Of the 3 billion letters in the human genome, only 1% directly code for proteins. Of the rest, about 25% make up genes and their regulatory elements. The functions of the remaining letters are still unclear.

  • Chargaff's Ratio

    Chargaff's Ratio

    Animations

    (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

    Animations

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

  • The Proteasome

    The Proteasome

    Animations

    (1 min 44 sec) A 3D animation showing how proteins in the cell are tagged for disposal and degraded by the proteasome.

  • Mismatch Repair

    Mismatch Repair

    Animations

    (1 min 22 sec) This animation illustrates how mistakes made during DNA replication are repaired.

  • Enzymes That Are Not Proteins: The Discovery of Ribozymes

    Enzymes That Are Not Proteins: The Discovery of Ribozymes

    Clips

    (19 min 4 sec) Listen to past HHMI President Dr. Thomas Cech discussing his Nobel Prize-winning discovery of RNA's catalytic properties.

  • RNA Folding

    RNA Folding

    Animations

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

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