Students make their own keys describing the tactile and color surfaces of the nitrogen bases of the model (as shown in the picture on the right). Students who will not benefit from the information about the color may only describe the tactile surface.
Students use these keys to "read" the DNA molecule and to "write" the appropriate code for the corresponding strand of DNA (using base-pairing rules). Finally students will complete a short worksheet in which one strand of the DNA is given and the corresponding strand must be determined. If students are not yet familiar with DNA base-pairing rules, these should be taught prior to this actiivty.
DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid- molecule found in all living things that holds the code for inherited characteristics
double helix - the spiral staircase structure of the DNA molecule
nucleotide - in a nucleic acid chain, a subunit composed of a sugar, a phosphate, and a nitrogenous base
base pairing rules - the rules stating that thymine bonds with adenine and guanine bonds with cytosine in DNA