Teaching Aid Wish List: February 2019

  • I have turned my attention to the DNA molecule now! I have started right at the beginning---with modeling individual atoms. There will be 6 different submodels: the bases C, G, A, T, and the phosphate and sugar molecules that make up the spiral backbone. These will snap together into the DNA molecule.
    Let me know what you think. The next step will be combining the atoms into these monomers, then figuring out the linkages between them.
    My idea is to label the atoms (H, C, O, P, and N) and then make it possible to print the 6 subunits in different colors so that students can visually differentiate these from a distance.
    Really enjoying this model. Thanks for the idea @kfaust and others that voted for it!

  • DNA model prototype test print #1.
    This is the base monomer adenine. The labels on the atoms did not show up so I am going to double their size from 2 mm to 4 mm height. I was worried about this, but figured I would give it a shot. Will get the changes made and another prototype printed Friday.
    So far I have modeled adenine, cytosine, and phosphate. We should be able to stay on track to have a new model of DNA that you can dismantle/build in early April! Anyone want to suggest a catchy name for this one? Perhaps Dnago, combining "dna" and that building block toy?

  • More progress on the DNA molecule! The monomers are almost all modeled, and we have a working 'chemical bond' linkage to join the monomers together. I hope to have a finished "DNA building kit" up on the web store in about a week.

  • @JeffHolland It looks really cool so far!

  • @kfaust Glad we are on the right track, @kfaust ! I will posting updates this weekend as the first complete prototype is printed. I have the 6 base molecules modeled (4 bases + 2 dna backbone molecules). I should be getting some new filament this afternoon so that I can present the prototype in 5 colors. Between this and Bug Bowl at Purdue, it is going to be an eventful weekend.

  • @JeffHolland Should have said: most updates will be on our Instagram account. I will get an update on the forum here once I have a complete prototype as well though.

  • The prototype of the DNA molecule is complete! Let me know what you think. The linkages ("bonds") have enough movement available that you can lay it flat on a table to show how base pairs match, or hang it up and twist it into a double helix. The phosphate molecule in the white backbone or helix is planar or flat, but would be pyramidal in the real molecule, creating a potential teaching moment or question.
    Once I have the lecture ideas document made it will be up on the web store---hopefully by the end of the week.

  • @JeffHolland I think this is a great model. The nice thing is that you wouldn't need a long strand of DNA to make your point, just enough to represent all 4 bases to pair.

  • @cgarber Thank you! I am very glad you like it!

  • The DNAgo model of DNA is now available at The Shape of Science web store!


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