3-D Animation Library

DNA Molecule: Triple Helix

Although the chemistry was wrong, Linus Pauling's triple-stranded DNA model was a catalyst for James Watson and Francis Crick to solve the structure of DNA.

Duration: 27 seconds

DNA Molecule: Triple Helix

Transcript: This is Linus Pauling's failed attempt to predict the structure of DNA. The problem with his triple helix model is that the phosphates form the helical core, with the bases pointing outwards. This would be impossible under normal cellular conditions. Each phosphate group is negatively charged, and so many negative charges forced together would repel each other, literally driving the structure apart.

Bookmark and Share
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationNews & FeaturesCampus & Public EventsCareersGiving