DNA: Structure and function

Time to complete course: 17 min.

Try our lab safety simulation

Discover one of 200+ learning simulations available today

About DNA: Structure and function Virtual Lab Simulation

Your hair color, the curve of your smile, and even your likelihood of getting sick are at least in part determined by your DNA. But what is DNA made of, and how does it work? In this simulation, you will learn how DNA is structured and how DNA’s code translates to functional molecules called proteins.


Intern for a Science Magazine

You will work as an intern for a science magazine, Science Explained. One of the magazine’s readers has written a letter to you. They’re confused about DNA and have some questions about its structure and function. It’s your job to find out the answers and clear things up. 


Learn from an Expert

You’ll be sent to a DNA lab under the supervision of an all-knowing AI companion, Dr. One, to gather information for the magazine. First, you will dive inside a cell to see how double-helical DNA is packaged in chromosomes – details too small to see even with a microscope. Next, you’ll build a nucleotide from smaller chemical components: a deoxyribose sugar, nitrogenous base, and phosphate group. Given a single strand of DNA, you’ll race against the clock to make the complementary strand, applying your knowledge of complementary base pairing. Lastly, you’ll learn about protein synthesis, and your final challenge will be to read and translate a gene’s sequence to reveal a hidden word made from amino acid letters. 


Explain DNA to a Confused Reader

After each activity, you’ll pause and answer one of the reader’s questions about DNA’s location, structure, and function, to make sure that you have understood the key concepts.

Will you be able to answer the reader’s questions and clear up their confusion?

Get Started Now

Research the fundamentals of DNA in humans — where it is, how it’s structured, and what it does — to explain them to a confused reader of your science magazine. You’ll dive inside blood cells, build a nucleotide, play a game to explore how bases pair, and decode the DNA code to reveal a hidden word.

Techniques in Lab

  • Nucleotide composition
  • Complementary base pairing
  • Gene expression

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the organization and components of a genome,
  • Recognize and interpret visual representations of DNA and nucleotide structure, including base pairing rules,
  • Broadly relate DNA coding and protein synthesis.

Simulation Features

Length – 17 minutes
Accessibility mode – Available
Languages – English

Examples of Related Standards

  • Early Stage Bachelors Level
  • EHEA First Cycle
  • EHEA Short Cycle
  • US College Year 1
  • US College Year 2
  • US College Year 3
  • LS3.A-H1
  • HS-LS1-1
  • LS1.C-H2
  • Biology 2.6
  • Biology Unit 6.1

Screenshots of DNA: Structure and function Virtual Lab Simulation


How it works

A million dollar lab in your browser

Perform experiments in virtual lab simulations to achieve core science learning outcomes. 

All our simulations run on laptop and desktop computers, and you can play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

Hundreds of hours of science learning content

Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more.

With access to our simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of engaging, high-quality learning content available to you.

Discover more Virtual Lab Simulations

We currently have 273 simulations that cover everything from biology and medicine to physics and chemistry.

Learn how you can use Labster in your science course

Take a 15 Minute “Lab Break” with a Virtual Lab Expert

Talk to one of our Virtual Lab Experts about how Labster can engage your students with our virtual labs for online, hybrid and face-to-face courses.

Lab break coffee with us

Please fill out the form below to talk with one of our Lab Experts. 

You must opt in to receive emails from Labster. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Thank you for your submission!

The simulation is already added to this package

Step 1: Choose your simulations

Find and select the simulations that you want to add to your course.

Step 2: Review simulation list

This is the list of simulations that will be added to your course. Click Download once you are ready.

Press the + button next to the simulations that you want to add to your list, or add all the simulations of this package by pressing “add all simulations”.


Related Simulations

No simulations added yet.
    Download the .zip file and upload it to your LMS.

    Download Common Cartridge File

    Choose your Learning Management System below:
    Generating download link. Please wait...
    Congratulations! You can now upload the .zip file into your LMS by the following these instructions:

    Simulation name

    Image container

    Learning Outcomes

    Learning outcomes container


    Techniques container

    Simulation Description

    Description container

    Are you sure you want to delete?

    Package deleted successfully