For an interactive lesson on DNA structure, click here.

My first rap, with music produced by Max Cowan.

    1. Scroll down below the video to read the lyrics.
    2. Click for a study guide with lyrics, diagrams, study questions, and a crossword puzzle

DNA, Fantastic!

Welcome, I’m so happy you came by
For a lesson ‘bout the essence of b-i-o-l-o-g-y
DNA’s the topic, it’s so fantastic
We talking ‘bout Deoxyribonucleic acid

If you’ve ever wondered ‘bout development in elephants
or bumble bees, coffee trees, well DNA’s the recipe
In its home in a chromosome in the nucleus
DNA drives the bus, genetically controlling us

In ferns and worms infectious germs, mommy’s egg and daddy’s sperm
DNA’s the  information linking up the generations
It’s the code of life so listen up well,
‘Cause DNA’s the molecule in charge of every cell

DNA! Fantastic, Deoxyribonucleic Acid
We talking ‘bout Deoxyribonucleic acid.
DNA! Fantastic

The shape is key and probably well known to you
Double helix, twisted ladder, or a double corkscrew
Imagine a twisted length of tape
With deoxyribose sugars on the edges with phosphates

Sugar phosphate sugar phosphate making up the sides of the ladder
With nitrogenous bases on the inside
With the bases like the rungs
And together with deoxyribose sugar and a phosphate make a nucleotide

Deoxyribonucleotides are the monomers
Link them up together for the DNA  polymer
Point three four nanometers marks the space
Between one nucleotide and the next one’s place

And for the helix to make one turn takes
10 bases in a row as you can discern
Since space ‘tween nucleotides is point three four
One turn takes nanometers three point four

So stylish!, So slick!
First described in fifty three by Watson and Crick
And don’t forget Franklin she took that famous X-Ray pic
But she died so she never got her Nobel prize.


The nitrogenous bases comes in one of four varieties
Known by the letters A, T, C and G
A is for Adenine, Thymine’s got the “T”
C it stands for Cytosine and Guanine’s got the “G”

A and G with two nitrogen rings are purines
C and T with one ring are pyrimidines
C only bonds with G, A only with T
Because like puzzle pieces they’re complementary

They fit together. snuggled up like hand and glove
Like enzymes and substrates, like people in love
A-T, C-G, matched up like lock and key
Forming hydrogen bonds, either two or three

Hydrogen bonds, you know they aren’t very strong
But they’re enough to hold DNA together all day long
The way the bases fit together couldn’t be sweeter
They give DNA a width of two nanometers

DNA’s double stranded, looks pretty swell
The strands’ orientation is anti parallel
With one standing  up, the other on its head
It’s how they fit together, Crick and Watson said!


Sugars and phosphates make the backbone, the structure
But the sequence of the bases is where you find instructions
For Development of bodies and the cytoplasmic symphony
That constitutes life’s miracle in goats and golden algae

Your sequence of bases is unique, a special batch
Unless you’re an identical twin it’s nowhere matched
And you can bet, that if you’re not Jango Fett
That you got no clone, no one like you’s been known!

Our bases comprise our individuality
You might have “A” where I might have a “G”
Explaining why I’m bald and you got all that hair
These differences can show up anywhere

The protein hemoglobin, now listen up well
It carries oxygen in your red blood cells
Hemoglobin’s made of four protein pieces
A trait widely shared among animal species.

Hundreds of bases spell one hemoglobin piece
Hundreds of  A’s, G’s, Ts and Cs
The gene starts CAC-GTG-CAC

The key is these bases are information
For hemoglobin’s function and conformation
Hundreds of bases, in a predetermined order
A single change brings on a major disorder

Change T to A in one single spot
This little point mutation might not seem like a lot
Thymine to Adenine might not seem that big to ya’
But baby that’s the cause of sickle cell anemia


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. ana

    Your videos are absolutely amazing…Our biology professor showed us one (the glycolysis one) and we were hooked… now I always search for your videos and wish more of the songs were available on Itunes to download:)
    Thank you so much for all the hard work!!!

    1. Mr. W

      Thanks, Ana. Thanks for the kind words….If you go to my iTunes page, you’ll see all 25 songs. Enjoy!
      Mr. W

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