What are the key features of Lego DNA?
It is composed of two sections – the DNA structure itself and the research labs beneath it.
The model is scientifically accurate and was designed with the aim of resembling the actual structure as closely as possible using only Lego bricks. The structure is a double helix spanning one complete turn; the sugar-phosphate backbone is positioned on the outside of the helices, while the bases are on the inside. There is approximately a 36-degree turn per base pair. Complementary base pairs (AT and CG) are paired together, with two hydrogen bonds linking AT, and three bonds linking CG. Purines (A and G) are double-ringed, and pyrimidines (T and C) are single-ringed. Different colors are used for each base in the model as well. The entire structure comprises 12 bases that code for a tripeptide (MDK) and a stop codon.
The set also includes mini-figures (the official name for Lego people) of four scientists important in the discovery of DNA structure – Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, James Watson, and Francis Crick. The Lego DNA structure is also positioned on a platform, containing two research laboratories – the Franklin-Wilkins Lab and the Watson-Crick Lab. It is designed so it gives off the feel that the work of the two labs led to the rise of the discovery.
The labs contain many interesting features, one of which are the instruments used to take images of DNA samples, including the famous Photo 51 (taken under the supervision of Rosalind Franklin) which provided crucial evidence for discovering the structure of DNA.