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Anaglyph: DNA molecule in 3D
The DNA is a molecular chain physically located in chromosomes, structures present in the nucleus of cells. Genes are encoded by the DNA and specify how and when to build proteins which then act as molecular machines. These molecular machines interact in complex networks to perform most vital functions in cells. The communities of cells, through complex interactions, then give rise to animals, including human beings.
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A DNA Molecule with the Connectivity of a Truncated Octahedron. A truncated octahedron contains six squares and eight hexagons. This is a view down the fourfold axis of one of the squares. Each edge of the truncated octahedron contains two double helical turns of DNA. The molecule contains 14 cyclic strands of DNA. Each face of the octahedron corresponds to a different cyclic strand. In this drawing, each nucleotide is shown with a colored dot corresponding to the backbone, and a white dot corresponding to the base. This picture shows the strand corresponding to the square at the center of the figure and parts of the four strands at the cardinal points of the figure. In addition to the 36 edges of the truncated octahedron, each vertex contains a hairpin of DNA extending from it. These hairpins are all parts of the strands that correspond to the squares. The molecular weight of this molecule as about 790,000 Daltons.
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Complex DNA is only part of a living cell. Some scientists think it organized itself by accident, but unlike the marbles used to make this model, the billion molecules needed to make the DNA in one living cell will not sit patiently while you put then all together. If you couldn't put them together on purpose, then how could they fall together by accident?
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