Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

Best Science Apps

More »
June 01, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 11)

OnScreen DNA Model

  • Great 3D DNA model, great text content
  • None
Platform: iPad  
Cost: $1.99

As illustrated with OnScreen Gene Transcription in our May 1 column, OnScreen Science now has a few very nice iPad apps to teach students about DNA and RNA. The OnScreen DNA Model app was the original; as such, it offers students a strong introduction into the structure of DNA. App users interact with a beautifully rendered 3D model of DNA—rotating it, zooming in and out—as they read about base pairing, strand polarity, and major and minor grooves. The 3D model can be viewed as a simple model with artificially straight bonds, or with the more realistic tilted bonds. Students can also toggle between left-handed and right-handed modes to get a sense for helix handedness. Finally, the app contains a very useful denature/renature animation that offers an intuitive sense of how the two strands of DNA actually interact with one another.

  • Key:
  • Strong Points
  • Weak Points
  • Ratings:
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good