# The scale of things

1. Jun 21, 2005

### WarrickF

Hi All,

I was wondering if someone could help me with a basic understanding of the scale of things in our body.

I love this little animation that Brian Greene has out there
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/scale.html

I know very little about biology, so you’ll need to humor me if these are stupid questions.

1. What is a DNA chain made up of? A series of double Helix’s?
2. Are these double Helixes then simply made up of carbon atoms?
3. What is a cell then made of?

Thanks
Warrick

2. Jun 24, 2005

### Ouabache

Hmmmm.. I always wondered what was in an apple at resolution of $$10^{-35}$$ m

A DNA chain is made up of sugars (deoxyribose), nucleobases
(purines & pyrimidines) and phosphate, bound together in a double helical arrangement.
Not a series of double helices but one continuous double helix.

As you will see from the links, the double helix is not made simply of carbon atoms. Though by chemistry short-hand, when you see a ring shaped molucule such as deoxyribose or adenine, the vertices of the ring that are not labelled, are implied to have a carbon atom at those points. Here is a clearer diagram to what I am referring.

A cell is quite complex, it has macroscopic structure. Underlying that, is its chemical composition and interaction.
The chemistry of a cell is part of a unique discipline, biochemistry.