PDB Focus: DNA Day

April 25, 2003 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of the description of the structure of the double helix. Teachers and students were encouraged to celebrate these historic achievements on this "DNA Day". Many web sites have compiled a wealth of information about this event -- a few are listed below.

The National Human Genome Research Institute (www.genome.gov) has a variety of teaching resources for National DNA Day at www.genome.gov/10506367.

The Nature Publishing Group has compiled the original articles, historical perspectives, and examinations of DNA in medicine, society, and as a biological molecule in "Double Helix: 50 years of DNA" at www.nature.com/nature/dna50.

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has a "Celebration of 50 Years of DNA" at www.dna50.org, which provides resources and a schedule of events around the world.

The 50th Anniversary Conference (held on April 25th) and other resources from the University of Cambridge are available at www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/science/dna.

King's College sponsored "A Day of Celebrations" on April 22 with DNA information at www.kcl.ac.uk/depsta/ppro/dna.

PBS aired a NOVA feature on the "Secret of Photo 51" about Rosalind Franklin's role in the discovery of the structure of DNA.

Other 50th anniversary events, including articles and meetings, are included at www.dna50.org.uk.

An updated and expanded web site for the Nucleic Acid Database (NDB), the repository of structural information about nucleic acids, was released on April 25. The NDB now has a new look and layout, a greatly revised Atlas, a new database that includes X-ray and NMR structures, and a new search engine at ndbserver.rutgers.edu.

The PDB has many education resources related to nucleic acid structure at www.rcsb.org/pdb/education.html, including DNA's turn as Molecule of the Month in November 2001 - www.rcsb.org/pdb/molecules/pdb23_1.html.

Image of a right-handed double-stranded B-DNA helix, from the Nucleic Acid Database (NDB ID: BDL001/PDB ID: 1bna)