12 Base Pair DNA Model-Assembly Required

SKU: 68795WS

$299.00USD or lower Each

Save More When You Buy More!
Quantity1+2+ 3+ 
Price for each$299.00USD$294.00USD$289.00USD
Your savings - 1.67%3.34%
[4.6]   4 Reviews    | Write a Review

The Indigo® 12 Base Pair DNA model can help your students understand base pairing & nucleic acid structure. Our best DNA Double Helix Model, first seen at NABT 1996, is still a bargain at $299.00! It's a cost effective manipulative that will enhance the comprehension of essential concepts whether you teach advanced genetics or high school forensics.

The discoveries of the DNA helix & the Human Genome Project have lead to a knowledge explosion. Building this model as a lab exercise will help explain genome, GEDMatch, centimorgan, SNPs, CRISPR, GMO, PCR & mRNA, terms once confined to university labs that are now in the news & high school curricula.

"Without reservation, I can strongly recommend this particular model building exercise. It requires and reinforces a strong understanding of the details of DNA structure. While it does have a reasonably high level of complexity, it is fun to build and most educational." Dr. Roscoe Stribling, retired high school teacher. Read his full testimonial and why his school bought 10 models.

The DNA molecule is a polymer of 4 nitrogenous bases, paired as adenine-thymidine & guanine-cytosine,(AT/GC), 5 carbon sugar rings & phosphate groups. This DNA model has different VSEPR geometries for carbon & nitrogen in the 6 atom ring pyrimidines, the 6:5 atom purine rings & deoxyribose. Use this DNA model to learn the basics of replication, its impact on evolution and the importance of species diversity.

When used as part of a lab exercise, it is highly effective for illustrating the major features of the double helix. The 12 base pairs can be combined in over 200,000 ways & can illustrate how unique DNA sequences are used in studies of evolution, forensic analysis or ancestry research. In addition, the AT & GC spares listed below are fully compatible with this model. They can be used to illustrate new single gene editing techniques.

This model has been training molecular biologists since 1997. Among our many customers: U. Toronto, Harvard, MIT, NYU, U. Minnesota, Wayne State, U. Illinois, Caltech, US Naval Academy, Stanford & many more.

  • 1 hr. lab exercise for 24 students at low cost
  • Keep them busy while waiting for PCR reactions to finish
  • Can be built & disassembled repeatedly
  • 262144 possible unique sequences
  • Use as stand-alone, display model; ~1m (3.3') tall
  • 1 turn; 12 base pairs; 6 each AT & GC
  • Base-staining not included
  • Major/minor grooves with accurate size ratio
  • Special double bonds show antiparallel structure
  • Complementary alpha helix model fits major groove (not included)
  • Working on Biochemistry of Aging? Additional parts available to show Methylation of DNA Cystosine Nucleoside. Parts needed can be purchased below
  • Studies in Aging & one of our very low cost DNA models could be an interesting science fair project


Related information or images
Reviews (4)

This was the DNA model I had always dreamed of when I first started teaching over three decades ago. Virtually ideal! This will be a highlight for our local science centre. DNA models with space-filling are great to look at but somewhat obscure the essential bonding and bond angles. This model, without the space-filling atoms, is perfect for highlighting the hydrogen bonding, spiral structure and phosphate backbone. Had a question and suggestion and I had my answer and response within a couple of hours. Great customer service, great value (like, it is a bargain considering what you get for a very reasonable price), and a great model. The instructions were very clear and well illustrated. What is not to love!

— Jim H.
— Indigo:

Thanks for the detailed review. Our Big Bang Theory DNA model is more impressive in many ways but as you have noted, this is the better teaching model & has great value.


Once assembled, the model gives good detail about how all the different atoms fit together to make the classic double helix structure of DNA. The instructions are done reasonably well with two exceptions. The first is that when it's time to build the deoxyribose-phosphate "backbone" of the helix, the instructions show which atoms connect where, but it leaves out how they are to be rotated. The user is left to work this out by trial and error. The second is a minor error in the assembly of the stand where you're first told to put it together one way, and then later to do it a different way (positions of the nuts on the threaded rod). Having said that, I'd still buy it again.

— Bob
— Indigo:

Thanks very much for the feedback. We are planning to revise these instructions & your recommendations will be incorporated.

Good news! The instructions have been rewritten as of 2022.03.01 with more detail & photos. Also, we are available for Google Meet/Skype/Zoom video calls in case you need help.


After I decided to get a model of DNA, I spent quite a bit of time researching it. I found this one pretty quickly, but kept looking. Finally, I decided to buy it. I am really glad I did. I have studied DNA for some time now, and putting this model together really brought things together in my head. Two dimensional drawings in books became a three dimensional representation right before my eyes. The major/minor grooves and how they are formed became much clearer. This is a cool model. The price is right, too. The less expensive models are fine but don't provide the detail this one does. In my view it was worth spending extra for more detail. Indigo says this is their best teaching model, and I agree. Indigo's service is stellar, too. My order was shipped immediately and arrived in good shape. The directions were fine if in need of some updating. Chris Bingleman helped me a lot-he is a credit to your company. He returned every email I sent, and quickly I might add. I talked with others at the company and was impressed. They care. If you want a really nice DNA model to put on display, this is a good one. I'd do it again.

— Steven
— Indigo:

Thanks for your insights. This model is also unique in having 3 different atom geometries for carbon & nitrogen. It puts that knowledge of VSEPR theory to good use.


This model is fantastic but is not for the faint of heart. I had students assemble it in class as part of our unit on nucleic acid structure. It took two classes, an occasional bored research group member, and an awful lot of quality control on my part to actually finish it! The most difficult part is figuring out what tubes to use for what bonds. It is of course obvious if one sits all of the different lengths next to one another along with a description of the different bond lengths in DNA, but some of the tubes are close enough in length that they were initially used interchangeably by the students. The model is accurate enough that if the wrong bond lengths are used for any pieces, it doesn't fit together correctly. That was a good teaching moment:-) Once we got that figured out, it was smooth sailing. The model is ideal for teaching everything from base pairing to major and minor grooves. Besides, it looks pretty cool in my office. I'd buy it again.

— Early Adopter
— Indigo:

Thanks for the feedback. The instructions were written by the prof who designed the DNA model but they are nearly 20 years old & have some obvious shortcomings! Good news-the instructions have been rewritten as of 2022.03.01 with more detail & photos. The good news is we have engaged an exceptional high school teacher with exceptional students who are rewriting the material for us. Your concerns will be addressed in this iteration. As soon as it is done, we will announce this on the website & send copies to everyone who bought the model. Good news-the instructions have been rewritten as of 2022.03.01 with more detail & photos.

Review This Product Now!