(Originally posted: 9th April 2007)
Last week I just happened upon the website of professional Lego modeller Eric Harshbarger, and more specifically, this page where he describes a miniature model of DNA built entirely of Lego. Well, I just had to have myself one of those, so I printed out Eric’s photograph and headed off to BrickLink to see if I could get the required bits.
Isn’t it fantastic? Crick and Watson would be proud.
If you want to build your own Lego DNA model (and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you) here’s a handy shopping list; total cost for new bricks should be about £6:
As you can see from the photo, I built the two helices from different coloured bricks which makes them stand out quite nicely, so you’ll need twenty of each colour.
And for the base pairs: I don’t think there’s a universally accepted coding so pick four colours of your choice. Remember though that they only appear in two forms; Adenine only ever bonds with Thymine (A-T) and Guanine only ever bonds with Cytosine (G-C). Again, twenty of each colour is probably a good place to start; you’ll certainly have enough to spell out GATTACA.
Of course, you’re going to need to make about 220 million base pairs if you want to model your own DNA and that’s a whole lot of Lego…
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