Your Challenge: Make an edible model of DNA, then enjoy your creation!
What You Need
- 2 Twizzlers
- Mini Marshmallows (9-green, 9-pink, 9-yellow, 9-orange)
- 12 Toothpicks
- 5 Paperclips
- Masking Tape
Choose one of the sequences below:
Sequence 1: TACGTATGAAAC
Sequence 2: TGGTTTAGAATT
Assemble one side of your DNA Molecule. A piece of licorice will form the backbone and marshmallows will be the chemical bases. Place a marshmallow on the end of a toothpick so that the point of the toothpick goes all the way through. Anchor the toothpick into the licorice backbone. Refer to the information below to choose the correct color marshmallow to represent the chemical bases in your sequence.
(A) Adenine = Use a green marshmallow
(T) Thymine = Use a pink marshmallow
(C) Cytosine = Use a yellow marshmallow
(G) Guanine = Use an orange marshmallow
Label the backbone with a marker or a pen. Use the masking tape and toothpick to make a flag. Label your licorice backbone, "DNA-1" or "DNA-2" depending on which sequence you used. Write the label on the left end of the licorice.
Match the chemical base pairs. Place the color marshmallow for the matching chemical base on the other end of the toothpick. Remember that A always pairs with T and C always pairs with G!
Complete your DNA model. Attach the other backbone so your model looks like a ladder.
Twist your DNA model so that it looks like a double helix.
Label your model. Make flags to label the parts of your DNA out of paperclips and tape. Label one of each of the following: Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, Guanine, and Backbone. Make sure your chemical base pairs are correct.
Take It Further
DNA or Deoxyribonucleic Acid, provides instructions for how all living things grow and function. The DNA instructions are divided into segments called genes. Each gene provides the information for making a protein, which carries out a specific function in the cell. A molecule of DNA is composed of two backbones and four types of chemical bases.
DNA looks like a twisted ladder, known as a double helix.
The DNA sequence is the consecutive order of bases on one side, or strand, or the twisted ladder. The other strand has a complementary sequence determined by the base pairing rules.