Dynamic DNA Model 3 ft

A Color-coded, Flexible Ladder with Epigenetic Methyl-Switches

Product Launch Special! $10 discount + free shipping!

The “Dynamic DNA Model” is now available!  This is a 38-inch colorful, sturdy, flexible plastic ladder of DNA with 21 rungs.  The model teaches the basic building blocks of DNA using a seven-color-code system (see below).

Click to view a larger image

Click to view a larger image

Each rung is comprised of two color-coded nucleic acid half-rungs --either Crimson with Green, or Azure with Tangerine (illustrating the A/T and C/G complimentary pairing).  Each half rung is equipped with white outside sections signifying the deoxyribose sugar (white is chosen since sugar cubes and processed sugar are white).  Separating the rungs are pairs of ball-shaped (with 8 nooks) “phosphate” molecules.  To symbolize the “P” of phosphate, we use the color purple. The final member of the 7-molecule team is the pair of methyl tags, which are colored magenta.  They can be added or removed, modeling the on/off switching of the epigenetic control system.

Manipulating the Model:

Each rung, with its two half dowels, is held together as one rung by the action of magnets.  Yet the rungs can break open, with the action of those same embedded magnets, which allow the half-rungs to break open when tugged on.  There are two ergonomic handles—one on each end.

Because the ladder-chain has robust flexibility, it can be laid out flat on a display table, or held vertically, or suspended horizontally in mid-air.  In any of these positions, the model can be twisted into the famous double-helix.

As explained above, the model will zip open just as the DNA molecule “unzips” for transcription of the RNA copy, or for duplication. This is made much easier by the engineering of one of the two handles so that it splits in the middle; it breaks open, when the pull of its embedded magnets is overcome with a tug

Epigenetic bonus!   

As mentioned above, each model is equipped with a pair of tiny methyl molecules, a “carbon-head-with-three-hydrogen-ears” (see picture of these tags, pulled out of the slot and laid next to the model).  The methyl tags have two options.  They can be plugged into the two tiny holes on a pair of adjacent-and-cater-corner “C” letters, to show how a gene sequence can be “methylated”—causing it to “rest” or be switched off. The other option is to reverse this action: the methyl tags can be removed from those two “C” half-rungs, making the gene sequence “unmethylated,” which has the effect of “waking up” the gene. It is then activated and ready for transcription into RNA!


DNA and Beyond has developed and registered with BMI a set of three songs, which teach the structure and function of the three information-packed macromolecules: DNA, RNA, and proteins.   We will be publishing digital media in the coming weeks, to enable you to use these songs when you order our Dynamic DNA Model.* 

The first of these to be shared with the public has its lyrics printed here below. It is to be sung to the popular tune (ubiquitous in the English-speaking world) of the “ABC” song.  Here, we are teaching the basic four letters of DNA (A, T, C, G) complete in their pairings, along with the role of “D” (deoxyribose) and “P” as holding the letters in place.  Methylation, which causes the gene to “rest” when the methyl tags are attached to certain “C” letters, is taught as well. 

Here goes…

A with T and C with G,

Held in place by D and P,

When I rest, you will see,

Methyl-tags plugged into Cs;

Now I know my A-T-C-Gs

Won’t you come and twist with me?


*The songs are registered with BMI and protected by US copyright.