Double helix

Double helix

In geometry a double helix (plural "helices") typically consists of two congruent helices with the same axis, differing by a translation along the axis, which may or may not be half-way. [ [ "Double Helix"] by Sándor Kabai, The Wolfram Demonstrations Project, 2007.]

In molecular biology, the double helix refers to the structure of DNA. The structure of DNA was first published in the journal Nature by James D. Watson and Francis Crick in 1953cite journal|title=Nature|author=Watson and Crick|date=1953|issue=171|pages=737–8] , based upon data from Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin [ [ The Structure of the DNA Molecule] ] . Crick, Wilkins and Watson each received the Nobel Prize for their contributions to the discoverycite website|title=Nobel Prize - List of All Nobel Laureates|url=] . Franklin died before her contribution could be acknowledged, and due to the fact that they cannot be awarded posthumously, never received a Nobel Prize.

The DNA double helix is a right-handed spiral polymer of nucleic acids, held together by nucleotides which base pair togethercite book|author=Alberts et al.|date=1994|title=The Molecular Biology of the Cell|isbn=978-0815341055] . A single turn of the helix constitutes ten nucleotides. The double helix structure of DNA contains a major groove and minor groove, the major groove being wider than the minor groove. Given the difference in widths of the major groove and minor groove, many proteins which bind to DNA do so through the wider major groove [cite journal |author=Pabo C, Sauer R |title=Protein-DNA recognition |journal=Annu Rev Biochem |volume=53 |pages=293–321 |year=1984 |pmid=6236744 | doi = 10.1146/ ] .

The order, or sequence, of the nucleotides in the double helix within a gene specifies the primary structure of a protein.


See also

* Nucleic acid
* "Molecular structure of Nucleic Acids"

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • double helix — double helix. См. двойная спираль [ДНК]. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • double helix — n technical a shape consisting of two parallel ↑spirals that twist around the same centre, found especially in the structure of ↑DNA …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • double helix — ► NOUN ▪ a pair of parallel helices intertwined about a common axis, especially that in the structure of DNA …   English terms dictionary

  • double helix — n. the characteristic helical structure of the two complementary chains of nucleotides in DNA: the chains are linked by hydrogen bonds and coil around a single axis …   English World dictionary

  • Double helix — The structure of DNA with the two strands of DNA spiraling about one other. The double helix looks something like an immensely long ladder twisted into a helix, or coil. The sides of the ladder are formed by a backbone of sugar and phosphate… …   Medical dictionary

  • double helix — noun a pair of parallel helices intertwined about a common axis the shape of the DNA molecule is a double helix • Hypernyms: ↑helix, ↑spiral * * * noun, pl ⋯ helices also ⋯ helixes [count] technical : the shape formed by two parallel lines that… …   Useful english dictionary

  • double helix — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms double helix : singular double helix plural double helixes or double helices biology the dna molecule that consists of two chains of nucleotides and has a shape like a twisted ladder …   English dictionary

  • double helix — dvivijė spiralė statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Spiralė, susidedanti iš dviejų komplementarių antilygiagrečių DNR grandinių. atitikmenys: angl. double helix rus. двойная спираль ryšiai: sinonimas – dviguboji spiralė …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • double helix — noun Date: 1954 a helix or spiral consisting of two strands in the surface of a cylinder that coil around its axis; especially the structural arrangement of DNA in space that consists of paired polynucleotide strands stabilized by cross links… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • double helix — Conformation of a DNA molecule like a ladder twisted into a helix …   Dictionary of molecular biology

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