DNA modelDNA modelDNA Structure

An Interactive Animated Nonlinear Tutorial by Eric Martz
Adapted for using Jmol instead of Chime, by Angel Herráez
Part of Biomodel website by Angel Herráez, Univ. de Alcalá (Spain)

Disponible también en español. Também disponível em português. Auch verfügbar auf Deutsch. Disponible aussi en français.

This version works in any Java-compatible browser. Java Virtual Machine must be installed (JVM, included with some operating systems or available in Sun's Java website).
More tutorials on DNA and proteins, in English, Spanish, etc., are indexed at molvisindex.org.

If you prefer using Chime for molecular models, the page using it is still available, with equivalent content and functionality.

This tutorial is designed to complement Biology or Biochemistry and Molecular Biology books, so it is not by itself a complete introduction to DNA structure. Please, check the original source for more recent versions. You can also read the version history.

  1. Before proceeding, check that your browser has Java installed and can use the Jmol software:
    Jmol test
  2. This tutorial is designed to complement an introduction to DNA, by providing tools for a self-directed exploration. It does not tell a story (but does offer questions for students and a lesson plan for teachers). As a preamble to the tutorial below, or for a story that introduces DNA structure with interactive molecular graphics, we recommend
  3. The Animated Interactive Tutorial Pages (A, B, C, D)
       Please use a large window for these (full-screen if your screen resolution is 800 x 600 or less):
    A. Double helix by element: base pairs, hydrogen bonding
    DNA pairs
    DNA pairs
    B. The Code
    DNA code
    Explanation of codons and anticodons
    C. Strands and helical backbone
    DNA strands
    D. Ends, Antiparallelism
    DNA ends
  4. Questions for Students and a Lesson Plan for Teachers.
    More Molecules for High School Teachers.
  5. more on DNA More DNA Resources includes tutorials for high school students, college freshmen, interactive Shockwave simulations of agarose gel electrophoresis to learn about electrical charge of DNA, cutting with restriction endonucleases, etc.

You can request a copy of this tutorial for off-line use; once you have your own copy on your computer's hard disk, you can use it without an Internet connection (and it will run faster).

Methods, Acknowledgements, and References.

Do you know there are more tutorials at MolviZ.Org?
Feedback/Requests to or .

More about Jmol: Jmol home page.

Creative Commons LicenseThe use of this work is subjected to the conditions stated on the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License (details)

This DNA Tutorial is being used in the Biomedical Sciences Curriculum developed by Project Lead The Way, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that provides curriculum at no charge to high schools and middle schools located in the United States.

This DNA Tutorial (English and Spanish versions) has been included in BioMolecular Explorer 3D, version 2, a website+CD-ROM designed to give high school biology teachers easy access to interactive 3D structures of biologically significant molecules.

This DNA Tutorial (English and Spanish versions) has been included in the live bootable DVD – Xplora Knoppix, by Xplora - The European Science Education Gateway.

Version history