This cut-out 3-D model of DNA can be used by students to learn about the structure of DNA. It will take the average person about 90 minutes to assemble a model of 16 nucleotide units. However this activity is better-suited to an entire class, where each sudent can assemble one base-pair. If the nucleotide pairs are photocopied onto overhead transparency sheets instead of card, these can be assembled to make a particularly attractive model.
EQUIPMENT & MATERIALS
This article appeared in the March 2003 issue of the School Science Review.
The model upon which this one is based was brought to the John Schollar's attention by Dr Cheong Kam Khow of the Singapore Science Centre. It was devised by Van Rensselaer Potter in 1958 and appeared the following year in his book Nucleic Acid Outlines. Sadly, Dr Potter, a bioethicist and oncologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, died in 2001 before we learnt that he had devised the original model. Many thanks to Kevin Fraser for alerting us to the origin of the model.
This article is adapted from one by the same authors which first appeared in the on-line journal 'Bioscience Explained'.