Crack the Code

Discover DNA

Explore and learn about DNA in an interactive and fun way. Take deep dives into what makes up our DNA.

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Discover DNA - mother with kids at home using laptop for learning about DNA
open hands with dna strand illustration depicting discover dna

What is DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that carries genetic information. It has a double-helix ladder structure that is found in every cell and basically tells a cell what to do. DNA is comprised of molecules, atoms, and bonds.

DNA Molecules

Molecules

DNA is itself a molecule that carries biological instructions for development, functioning, and growth in humans and almost all other living things. A single unit of DNA contains three components – a sugar molecule, a phosphate group, and a nitrogenous base.

Oxygen Atom

Atoms

An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter that forms a chemical element. Electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom at set energy levels. Vacancies in the outer energy levels are like “holes or vacancies.” These vacancies provide the opportunity to share electrons with other atoms, forming bonds between atoms resulting in molecules.

DNA Bonds

Bonds

The DNA double helix is held together by covalent, double covalent, and hydrogen bonds. Covalent and double covalent bonds exist when atoms share electrons. Sharing one electron is called a covalent bond; thus, sharing two electrons is called a double covalent bond. Hydrogen bonding is very delicate. Hydrogen bonding holds the two DNA strands together. In water, hydrogen bonding between water molecules gives water its watery texture.

The Building Blocks of DNA

Bases are the part of DNA that stores information and determines our genetic code. There are four types of bases in a DNA molecule – adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T) that are paired. Adenine always pairs with thymine, and cytosine always pairs with guanine. Human DNA contains over three billion of these base pairs put together in a specific order to create you!

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Fun in Learning

Download the FREE app

Discover DNA using KC Returns! II application to analyze and identify molecules, atoms, and bonds. You can interactively drill into DNA’s double-helix structure. Click, zoom, discover.

Microsoft dowload KC Returns App button

How to Discover DNA in KC Returns! II

You will be able to zoom in, zoom out, and zoom through a section of DNA. Select any atom, molecule or bond and spin the DNA around it or hold the selection and go to the web for even more information. Correctly locate the answers to questions about DNA’s atoms, molecules, and bonds to earn points, and play games to reinforce the learning.

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Gratitudes

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center building
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

If you like what KC is doing in the DNA and Immune area, consider donating to the Hutch. I do.

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KC Cracks the Code!

Young learners may also enjoy reading KC’s book that introduces basic science and DNA.

Many thanks to the book author – Yvonne Lamey

Buy It on Amazon
KC Cracks the Code book cover