DNA Animations

PZ Meyers posted a neat animation on his weblog “Pharyngula” the other day. The first part shows DNA coiling and packaging; the second part DNA replication.

They’re from a web site called DNA Interactive; you can see more excellent animations there.

I especially like these because they portray the complexity and beauty of these ubiquitous cellular processes, yet also exhibit their chemical, mechanical nature. We tend to personify biological phenomena (“the DNA unwinds, then adds complementary base pairs to each strand”); it’s easy to forget that these are essentially mechanical, step-by-step processes.

And yet they’re still beautiful.

4 thoughts on “DNA Animations

  1. Well, I imagine we’ll see more of this sort of thing appearing in classrooms and lecture halls. My medical school professors would use animations to supplement lectures, but this caliber of computer animation did not exist at the time.

  2. Hey, Rusty, thanks for stopping by!

    Yeah, it truly is amazing. The more you study these processes, you start to get a sense of how the biology of the cell arises from its chemical processes.

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