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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 8 Issue 6 (2003) pp 375-377

The 50th Anniversary of the Watson and Crick DNA Structure: Protein Explorer Tutorials of DNA Structures for Educators and Students

Jessica H. Brehm and Pamela Riggs-Gelasco*

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, 29424,
Received August 5, 2003. Accepted October 2, 2003.

Published online: 13 November 2003

Abstract. This year, scientists are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the three-dimensional structure of DNA. Viewing complex macromolecular structures, such as DNA, has become easier to do in the classroom with the recent release of the free, Web-based molecular visualization program, Protein Explorer. Reported here are five self-guided tutorials designed for beginners that introduce the user to DNA structure, to current DNA research, and to the basic Protein Explorer commands. These tutorials on a timely, interesting subject will hopefully inspire educators to incorporate molecular visualization into their chemistry lectures and curriculum.

Key Words:  Research in Teaching and Learning;

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (220 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:


Supporting Materials:

The following supporting materials are available in a Zip file (76 KB): Tutorial 1: B-form-DNA handout, Tutorial 2: Z-form-DNA handout, Tutorial 3: Cisplatin bound to DNA, Tutorial 4: Actinomycin D bound to DNA, Tutorial 5: p53 bound to DNA, student comments on RasMol use in class, and directions for downloading Netscape and MDL Chime 10.1333/s00897030742a

Issue date: December 1, 2003

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