Paired DNA Strands
This animation describes the general structure of DNA: two strands of nucleotides that pair in a predictable way.
DNA is well-known for its double helix structure. The animation untwists the double helix to show DNA as two parallel strands. Each strand is made up of a sequence of four nucleotides, A, C, G, and T. The order of the nucleotide sequence encodes genetic information. Since the nucleotides pair in a predictable way — A with T, and C with G — each strand of the DNA is always complementary to the other.
Depending on students’ background, it may be helpful to pause the animation at various points to discuss different structures.
adenine, base pair, cytosine, double helix, guanine, nucleic acid, nucleotide, purine, pyrimidine, thymine
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