In a recent article, I showed you how to color the DNA the Double Helix Coloring Worksheet. You should take some time to review the article below if you want to try to recreate that experiment!
The DNA is perhaps the most famous molecule ever created in nature. It has always been used to get a general idea of the order and structure of living things. One of the problems with doing so is that we don’t know exactly what its structure is. Our best approximation is that it is a long chain of ‘letters’ which have changed forms many times during evolution.
DNA was found in 1968 on a bacterium, Streptomyces hydros copious. It can be known to have four kinds of atoms. These are adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine.
Although the three letters of the DNA alphabet we know today were put together by chance, scientists have been working on finding the basis of DNA’s structure. They would look for areas that had some kind of pattern to them. They soon realized that there was a pattern, but no one had ever seen it before. Today, scientists do know where this pattern comes from, but still have a lot to learn.
When the adenine, cytosine and guanine letters are put together, they form an ‘alphabet’. This order is called ‘DNA helix’. The sequence of these letters also gives the arrangement of each molecule.
If you are considering trying to color the DNA the Double Helix Coloring Worksheet, the first thing you need to do is find out what size your coloring pencil is. Your ruler will be used to determine the length of the cylinder. Once you have that information, you can use the coloring pencil to trace the pattern onto your ruler or cylinder.
When you have traced the pattern onto your ruler or cylinder, you should try to outline the DNA in black ink. Black ink has the advantage of not being absorbed by the polymer, as most other colors are. You can mix black with another color, but it is not recommended to do so, as it can be hard to get a good result.
Make sure the pattern that you are tracing is going around all the letters, as you don’t want to paint the sides of the cylinder. For this experiment, try using a single-colored pen. On the other hand, if you are tracing the word ‘DNA’, you should use a white pen. When you have completed this step, let the cylinder dry for a few minutes, and then start to line up the letters.