Introduction: How to Make a DNA Model Out of Candy

DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid. It contains the genetic instructions used in the functioning and development of all living orgainisms and some viruse.Bored with your project on DNA? Just realized that it's due tomorrow? Well keep reading, even if you don't have to create an accurate model of DNA! It's really fun, and there's always leftover candy.


For Model:
Gummy Bears (at least four colors)
Red Licorice (cut into 1 inch pieces)
Black Licorice (cut into 1 inch pieces)
Small Marshmallows
Masking Tape

For Key:
Paper/Poster Board
Markers, pens, etc.
Glue or Tape

Step 1: Make a Key

First, you will need to know what is what on your DNA model. Write "Key" on the top of your poster board/paper. Then, glue or tape on a piece of black licorice. Label it "phosphate groups". Attatch a piece of red licorice and label it "sugar deoxyribose". These two make up the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA. Take one gummy bear and attatch it to the paper. Label it "adenine". Then, take a different color bear, attatch it, and label it "thymine". Attatch another color and label it guanine, and then attatch another color labeled "cytosine". These are DNA's four bases. Attatch a marshmallow and label it "hydrogen bonds that connect the bases". If you want some extra credit, try adding these facts:

The order of the bases determines the type of organism and its functionality.

DNA's shape is a right-handed double helix.

Step 2: Create the Backbones

Cut a piece of string about 3 inches longer than you want your model to be. Wrap masking tape around one end (to keep the licorice from falling off). String on alternating colors of licorice. When you reach your desired length, finish with masking tape. Repeat with one more piece of string, making sure that the lengths are the same. The colors of licorice should match (ex: red, black, red, black, etc.).

Step 3: Connect the Bases

With a toothpick, poke through one "adenine" (A), a marshmallow, and then a "thymine"(T). With another toothpick, poke through one "guanine"(G) , a marshmallow, and a "cytosine"(C). Make more of these. You can put T before A or C before G, but it is IMPORTANT that A is with T and G is with C and that a marshmallow is in between the two bases.

Step 4: Attatch the Bases

Stick one end of a toothpick "base" into one RED licorice piece on one your backbones. Repeat until each red piece on one backbone has a toothpick on it (the toothpick has two bases and a marshmallow). Then stick the open ends into the corresponding RED pieces on your other backbone. Hold both ends and twist to the right. This adds twists to your molecule.

Step 5: For More Information

Note: I also made a poster on information on DNA