How to Build a DNA Model With Legos

Written by dan chruscinski
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The building blocks of life are made up of DNA, and models of DNA can be created by the building blocks of childhood, Legos. Using Lego pieces, you can create a replica of the DNA double helix complete with coloured blocks to represent the four main bases.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1 8x8 Lego base
  • 1 8x2 Lego piece
  • 4 2x1 Lego plates
  • 80 1x1 Lego cylinders
  • 20 Lego technic pins
  • 40 2x1 Lego technic bricks

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  1. 1

    Place one 8x2 Lego piece on the centre of the 8x8 base.

  2. 2

    Place two 2x1 plates on each side of the 8x2 piece for a total of four plates. The plates should be stacked one on top of the other.

  3. 3

    Connect your 1x1 cylinders into pairs of the same colour. You will end up with 40 pairs of cylinders.

  4. 4

    Take two cylinder pairs of different colours and connect them together using a technic pin in the centre.

  5. 5

    Attach one 2x1 technic brick on each side of the created dual-coloured cylinder. This will complete the base pair.

  6. 6

    Place the completed base pair on the circular base.

  7. 7

    Create another base pair of cylinders and technic bricks.

  8. 8

    Place the base pair on top of the first pair, but attach only one slot of each brick onto the previous base pair.

  9. 9

    Gently rotate each brick of the new base slightly to your left. This will begin to form the helix.

  10. 10

    Repeat the creation and placement of additional base pairs, each time rotating the base pair slightly to the left on the helix.

Tips and warnings

  • Set each colour of your cylinders as one of the four bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. This will allow you to create specific DNA structures according to your needs.

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