double helix

noun

Definition of double helix 

: a helix or spiral consisting of two strands in the surface of a cylinder that coil around its axis especially : the structural arrangement of DNA in space that consists of paired polynucleotide strands stabilized by cross-links between purine and pyrimidine bases — compare alpha-helix, watson-crick model

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Other Words from double helix

double-helical \-ˈhe-li-kəl, -ˈhē- \ adjective

Examples of double helix in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To form the i-motif, the double helix untwists and then one of the strands bunches up with a bunch of cytosine molecules. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Discover That the Double Helix Isn't the Only DNA Form," 24 Apr. 2018 The show, whose title refers to the molecular biologist who discovered the double helix structure of DNA, will feature writers and performers who will discuss some of the others whose contributions to science have largely gone uncredited. New York Times, "The Underground Science Festival Has New Faces to Introduce to You," 31 May 2018 Rosalind Franklin unlocked the secrets of DNA’s double helix structure courtesy of her work on X-ray crystallography. Brian Keating, WIRED, "There's Nothing Noble about Science’s Nobel Prize Gender Gap," 27 May 2018 But for its part, National Geographic didn't make the plunge into molecular biology until 23 years after the discovery of the double helix. National Geographic, "How We've Tackled the Evolving Science of DNA," 25 Apr. 2018 Its approach involved taking single strands of the double helix and stuffing them through a protein pore. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Pocket-sized DNA reader used to scan entire human genome sequence," 30 Jan. 2018 That momentous discovery of double helix 65 years is still an unfolding scientific story with no end in sight. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Discover That the Double Helix Isn't the Only DNA Form," 24 Apr. 2018 One of the most familiar shapes in science is DNA’s double helix structure. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Discover That the Double Helix Isn't the Only DNA Form," 24 Apr. 2018 The year before that, there was a floral double helix, an decorative ode to that year’s theme, Manus x Machina. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "Inside the Met Gala: A Look Back at the Most Stunning Interiors Over the Years," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'double helix.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of double helix

1954, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for double helix

The first known use of double helix was in 1954

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More Definitions for double helix

double helix

noun

English Language Learners Definition of double helix

: the shape formed by two parallel lines that twist around each other

double helix

noun

Medical Definition of double helix 

: a helix or spiral consisting of two strands in the surface of a cylinder that coil around its axis especially : the structural arrangement of DNA in space that consists of paired polynucleotide strands stabilized by cross-links between purine and pyrimidine bases — compare alpha-helix, watson-crick model

Other Words from double helix

double-helical \-ˈhel-i-kəl, -ˈhē-li- \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on double helix

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about double helix

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