DNA Molecule

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is a chemical compound that exists in the nucleus of all somatic cells that make up humans and every other living organism.

DNA is composed of two opposing sugar phosphate strands linked to each other by pairs of molecules (Adenine which always links with Thymine and Guanine which always links with Cytosine). The resulting structure resembles a double helix.

The order and the arrangement of these pairs, about 6 billion in total per cell, create a code, or a set of instructions that allow cells to make copies of itself. This code carries the instructions to create different types of proteins and all the different types of cells that keep us alive.

Day 1

Today you will identify the main parts of a DNA molecule by listing its chemical components and describing its helical structure. You will then begin the process of illustrating this structure in Adobe Illustrator. In order to do this you will experiment and apply your skills in vector illustration to develop an accurate model of DNA starting with the double helix and the sugar backbone .

To get you started!

  • Begin with an 11x8.5 inch project in Adobe Illustrator.
  • To create the double helix effect, begin with a simple line. Apply the transform effect Filter > Distort > Zig Zag and experiment with the settings until you get a smooth sine wave shape.
  • Duplicate the line so it overlaps the first one. Then duplicate that, apply the transformation and flip your image.
  • Use the pathfinder feature to merge your layers together and color.
  • Trace over the chemical sugar backbone with simple shapes and text tool.

Day 2

Using Adobe Illustrator (the modify effects, color and shapes in particular) you will continue simulating a model of the DNA molecule. You will show your understanding of its structure and organization by creating a visual metaphor. You will edit the basic template and creating your own original version of a DNA sequence.

Day 3

You will finalize your DNA molecule by compositing the different elements you have created in the last two days into a single, easy to understand, clearly labeled and original model of a DNA sequence. After my feedback, you will then refine and publish your model, making sure the final product applies the principles of design, including color harmony.