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Lego DNA Double Helix Discovery

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What is the secret of life?

In 1952, this was found as DNA, and was thought to be the case for all organisms, but new research has now shown that minifigures are made of Lego DNA. Work from scientists such as Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Maurice Wilkins, and Francis Crick led to DNA structure discovery.

This project is a representation of DNA which shares many accurate features with the real deal, and with a mini lab on the base with minifigures of these great scientists, including Franklin's famous Photo 51, honoring them.

These include:

  • Complementary base pairing of the 4 bases (Adenine (red) with Thymine (green), Guanine (blue) with Guanine (yellow)) (In the middle of the strands)
  • 2 Hydrogen bonds between Adenine-Thymine pair, and 3 Hydrogen bonds between Cytosine-Guanine pair
  • 2 Helices wrapped around each other
  • A Phosphate group (yellow) at each base level
  • A change of 36° every base turn

Just under 3000 pieces, Lego DNA Double Helix Discovery molecule has 12 base pairs, and goes up to a height of more than 60 cm. It is placed on a base with a miniature lab with two instruments used to take photos of DNA on 2 different lab benches, 3 Eppendorf tubes, a desk with books and two chairs, and a blackboard. The model has 4 minifigures: Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, James Watson, and Francis Crick. Franklin's famous Photo 51 and the pointer used by Crick to create his iconic image with Watson are also included. Designing the model with these features made building it very enjoying. One particular satisfaction was combining the properties and orientations of molecules with Lego characteristics and smoothness giving its design.

Studying genetics myself, I have been fascinated by DNA and its miraculous job of acting as the cell’s information center in addition to its role in heredity. This, combined with my love of Lego made me want such a beautiful set. In addition, many Lego fan I have seen has at some point mentioned that they would love to add a Lego version of DNA to their collection. Seeing as how it is a double helical structure with various details, who wouldn’t? These fans were of different educational backgrounds and ages, but they all shared this same desire. I realized I was not alone in my combined love of DNA and Lego. So, I decided to build a version of Lego DNA which would not only include most of the main features of the actual molecule, but also provide a section of the history behind its discovery, further honoring these individuals for the work they have performed. In this way, the most important features of the molecule would be shown and fans could enjoy them.

Lego has given out several products related to the sciences until now. This product can be another STEM related product in Biology, of which there are not many. Many people in this field and others would love to see a product in this category. DNA Double Helix Discovery will be an interesting model to also have in museums and science galleries. The size of this product will make it one of the biggest Lego Ideas set that has ever been made. Combining the beautiful structure of DNA with the history of its discovery is something truly exciting to have in one set. The DNA code in this model is ATG GAC AAG TGA, which can be used to find the protein it codes for.

I thank you all for your support, and I know you will enjoy this product as much as I do.