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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:

-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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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......

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

  • 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.
i HAVE to try this!!!
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.
Great! I have to do it!!!!!! Thank you. BTW, I've a crocheted DNA:<br>http://fabuland.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/uncinetto-modelino-di-dna/<br>(the pattern's not mine.)
Cool, I've always wanted to crochet DNA.
Here's the original pattern:<br>http://nadinespatterns.blogspot.com/2008/05/dna-model-crochet-w-link-to-knit.html<br>I changed the colours.
Thanks!
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?
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.
&nbsp;It is been so helpful. My son had a project and sincerely you saved me !! I&nbsp;can rely on you in future. Instructions were so easy to follow. Thanks a lot.
Thanks, I'm glad you like it.&nbsp; I also have a model of an animal cell too.<a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Plush-Cell-Model/" rel="nofollow">www.instructables.com/id/Plush-Cell-Model/</a><br />
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
Thanks, Happy New Year!<br />
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?&nbsp;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!<br />
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!<br />
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!&nbsp;<br />
Augh, I love it! Perfect prezzie for my mate :)
Perfect gift for that girl in Bio. Thanks a lot
Amazing, I am glad I checked instructables today!
That's so awesome :D I like both versions of it. One of these would make an awesome keychain...
Thanks, this one made with wire may be a bit more durable for a keychain.
Sweet! I love bio-nerd jewelery. Will have to give this a try. ;)

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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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