Saturday, January 5, 2013

28 Rungs of Beaded DNA

Both of these strands of beaded DNA have 28 rungs, but the strand with more beads is shorter.  More is less in this case.  Well, more is shorter.  What it lost in length, it gained in width. 
The short, wide strand has 3mm bugle beads running down the center on the rungs.  Otherwise, both strands have have the same beads.  In other words, the wide strands has all of the beads in the skinny strand, plus the 28 bugle beads.  These include seed beads in sizes 11/0 and 15/0 and 3mm round Swarvoski crystals.  Both strands are quite flexible as well.   They will bend more than the next photo show, but that's how much they will stay bent without something holding them. 
The twist per inch of the narrow strand is nice and even measuring in at about 4 rungs per full twist.  The wide short strand is a touch over twisted with about 5 rungs per full twist.  The over twist gives it the appearance of having major grooves and minor grooves, like real DNA (however I believe that the reason for the major/minor grooves of the beaded version are different from what's happening with real DNA).   The over-twist make the wider strand like a spring.  If you pull it lightly, it will stretch, and go back after you let go.  The over-twist could be corrected by switching out some of the 3mm round crystals for size 8/0 seed beads, as I used in the original pattern.  Size 8/0 seed beads are a bit shorter than 3mm.

Do you want to learn how to make your own beaded DNA?  Well, you're in luck!
Learn to weave beaded DNA with my free video pattern here.


  1. Very cool and thanks for the video too.

  2. Very interesting... I've noticed the same effect before with different combinations of beads for the base pairs/rungs, but never so clearly as in these two molecules. I agree that swapping out the crystals for 8/0s will help ease the supercoiling.

    Actually, now that I think about supercoiling, have you ever tried beading a circle of DNA? Bacteria and mitochondria have circular chromosomes, and specialized DNA-unwinding enzymes to deal with supercoiling.

    1. I have not beaded a circular piece of DNA. The closest I came was the tetrahedron. I think you'd find the hard part would be to predict how many twists you give it before you close the ends. As I'm sure you've learned by now, predicting the twist per rung on these is a little tricky.

    2. True... Predicting the number of base-pairs-per-turn of a given piece of DNA was one of the less fun parts of graduate school.

    3. Lol! I think you and I referring to different things. ;)

  3. Me encanta, Maravilloso!!!!!


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