Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Why DNA is a double helix
Name: Newton Guest14
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

Why is DNA in a double-helix shape?

The why questions are always the worst. Why is anything the way it is? The individual subunits (nucleotides and deoxyribose sugars) bond to one another in certain ways only at certain points. As the chain of these subunits grows, the bonding pattern becomes or leads to a helical shape. The complementary strands are, in a sense, mirror images of each other. Hope this helps.

Ethan Allen

Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory