Introduction: The Double Helix -Glass Bead DNA Model V2.0

Picture of The Double Helix -Glass Bead DNA Model V2.0

Here is my second glass bead DNA double helix model. In this model I used wire instead of thread and I also added more space between the base pairs.

Here is a link to my first model.

Step 1: Materials:

Picture of Materials:
-Five different colours of seed beads (I used glass beads).

  • one colour makes up the sugar-phosphate backbone.
  • four colours for the bases, pair up the colours so that they always appear together. (eg red-blue, green-yellow).

- ~50cm strand of jewelry wire (should be more than you need, but rather have too much than too little).

-Scissors for cutting the wire.

Step 2: The First Bead

Picture of The First Bead
  • The first bead will be the colour of the sugar-phosphate backbone.
  • Thread one end of the wire through the first bead, pull it through until it is in the middle of the thread. (see images below)
  • Take the other end of the wire and thread it through the bead in the opposite direction.
  • Pull ends tight.

Step 3: The First Row

Picture of The First Row
  • Thread four beads (the same colour as the first bead) through each of the two wire ends (these are end spacers.)
  • Pull these through to the first bead.
  • The first row consists of 6 beads, the outer two are the same as in the previous step, which will be the sugar-phosphate backbone (dark blue), the middle beads are the base pairs; two beads of each colour in this case two yellow and two green beads. (See my colour pattern in step 5)
  • Thread one end of the wire through the six beads, pull it through to you meet up with spacer beads. (see images below)
  • Take the other end of the wire and thread it through the beads in the opposite direction.
  • Pull ends tight.

Step 4: The Second Row

Picture of The Second Row
  • Thread two beads (the colour of the sugar-phosphate backbone) through each of the two wire ends, these are the spacers between the base pairs.
  • Pull these through to the previous row.
  • The second row consists of 6 beads, the outer two are the same as the sugar-phosphate backbone (dark blue), the middle beads are the base pairs; two beads of each colour in this case two red and two light blue beads. (See my pattern in step 5)
  • Thread one end of the wire through the six beads, pull it through to meet up with the spacer beads. (see images below)
  • Take the other end of the wire and thread it through the beads in the opposite direction.
  • Pull ends tight.

Step 5: Continuing On......

Picture of Continuing On......

Continue adding more rows of beads using the pattern below, with two bead spacers between the base pairs for a total of 14 rows (14bp). You can make it longer if you would like.

The colour pattern is just a suggestion, feel free to play around with the colours, just make sure you keep your base pair colours together.

You can have fun with this by assigning the colours a specific nucleotide (eg. red=Guanine, blue=Cytosine, yellow=Adenine, green=Thymine). Make your favorite amino acids, use TTAGGG repeats and call it a telomere, or copy a gene sequence (although the average human gene is 3000bp this is probably not a good idea).

Step 6: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up
  • Thread four beads (dark blue) through each of the two wire ends.
  • Pull these through to the previous row.
  • Thread one end of the wire through the last bead (again,dark blue), pull it through to meet up with spacer beads.
  • Take the other end of the wire and thread it through the bead in the opposite direction.
  • Take one of the wires and loop around and thread through the bead again, pull tight, this is to finish it off
  • Tie a knot close to the bead, then make a loop for hanging and tie another knot and cut off the excess wires.

    • Holding either end of the DNA, bend and twist to form a helix shape. (sorry I don't have pictures of this, both hands were busy bending and twisting).

The helix is similar to a corkscrew or two interlocking bedsprings, you may need to play around with the shape to get the look you want.

Comments

princess_ria (author)2014-06-11

i HAVE to try this!!!

kendragebb (author)2013-05-16

This was easy to follow and clear. It saved a break-down 11pm at night with a project due 1st period. thank you for taking the time to post. You are appreciated.

MicioGatta (author)2012-03-10

Great! I have to do it!!!!!! Thank you. BTW, I've a crocheted DNA:
http://fabuland.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/uncinetto-modelino-di-dna/
(the pattern's not mine.)

ChrysN (author)MicioGatta2012-03-10

Cool, I've always wanted to crochet DNA.

MicioGatta (author)ChrysN2012-03-11

Here's the original pattern:
http://nadinespatterns.blogspot.com/2008/05/dna-model-crochet-w-link-to-knit.html
I changed the colours.

ChrysN (author)MicioGatta2012-03-11

Thanks!

fiola (author)2010-07-23

I'v done some of this myself and I love them. Ive also made some molecule models out of beads. Yes, I'm a helpless geek!! But actually I have a problem in trying to keep the darn thing twisted. Any ideas?

ChrysN (author)fiola2010-07-24

It may be the type of wire that you are using that can cause it to become untwisted, maybe try something more rigid. The stuff I use seems to keep it's shape, unfortunately I don't remember where I got it and there is not much information about the type of wire it is on the label.

mscrafts (author)2010-02-04

 It is been so helpful. My son had a project and sincerely you saved me !! I can rely on you in future. Instructions were so easy to follow. Thanks a lot.

ChrysN (author)mscrafts2010-02-04

Thanks, I'm glad you like it.  I also have a model of an animal cell too.www.instructables.com/id/Plush-Cell-Model/

MEEKABOO32 (author)2010-01-03

You are a life saver!! I just did this project with my 7th grade daughter for her science project. Everything was clear and the pictures were wonderful. Not to mention fun! Thank You and Have a Happy New Year

ChrysN (author)MEEKABOO322010-01-03

Thanks, Happy New Year!

empresslaura (author)2009-10-20

I love this project! You provide simple steps and clear pictures and its very easy to follow! I literally just finished this and it took maybe half an hour? But I'm slow, haha! Mine looks nearly identical to yours (with the exception of different colored beads). I highly recommend this to any science lover! 5/5!

ChrysN (author)empresslaura2009-10-20

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!

empresslaura (author)ChrysN2009-10-22

I've actually made 3 of them...2 12bp and turned into earrings and one 20bp into a pendant for a necklace. They're really amazing! Thanks again for posting this project! 

jessiminica (author)2009-03-09

Augh, I love it! Perfect prezzie for my mate :)

andycyca (author)2009-02-15

Perfect gift for that girl in Bio. Thanks a lot

nak (author)2009-02-12

Amazing, I am glad I checked instructables today!

Sunbanks (author)2009-02-11

That's so awesome :D I like both versions of it. One of these would make an awesome keychain...

ChrysN (author)Sunbanks2009-02-11

Thanks, this one made with wire may be a bit more durable for a keychain.

canida (author)2009-02-11

Sweet! I love bio-nerd jewelery. Will have to give this a try. ;)

About This Instructable

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Bio: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and ... More »
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