Film: 4216

Science | 1960 | Sound | Colour


Educational film about DNA and genetics. Lots of basic animation, use of models and magnified cells etc... As you will see from the following notes, a basic understanding of the terms involved in genetics would be useful in order to get the most from this film.
Cut to a blue background with a magnified pink embryo undergoing cell division in the centre. The outer surface of the embryo undulates, gradually becoming more complex as it divides. Magnified pink stained cell with moving organelles inside. Black background. Many multi-coloured strands representing chromosomes weave across the frame. Animated, geometric, coloured shapes move around the screen. Shapes form into four columns, each one symbolises a different type of protein: Haemoglobin, Myoglobin, Ribonuclease, and Lycosine. Smaller illustrated shapes form a line to demonstrate that Lycosine is made up of 129 amino acids. Same type of illustration for Myoglobin.

Cut to a hugely magnified cell - grey with nucleus showing chromosomes condensing. Black background - three dimensional model of a double helix - gradually grows larger in the frame. Narrator first mentions Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), the hereditary material for life. Chemical makeup of DNA illustrated by two-dimensional animation. Two pink lines either side of the frame represent the sugar phosphate backbone linked by four bases (adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine). Four coloured shapes (bases) appear between the two pink lines. Bases link up to form a ladder-like picture (DNA). Many model double helixes (DNA)float across the black screen.

Two dimensional 'ladder' (DNA) - part of it extends to display a specific gene. This gene is then copied by messenger RNA (mRNA). Shows part of the DNA (gene) for Lycosine, it has 387 bases. The DNA splits into two and one half (mRNA) floats out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm. Geometric shapes appear symbolising amino acids. Linear shapes indicate enzymes. Plug-like forms are transfer RNA (tRNA). The ribosome (site of protein synthesis) is represented by a white circle, and reads mRNA - close-up on three blocks of the code present on the mRNA. Amino acids (geometric shapes) and (enzymes)linear shapes join and then connect onto tRNA (plug shape). Other amino acids join onto growing polypeptide (protein).

mRNA with growing polypeptide chain . Different ribosomes along the mRNA synthesise more polypeptides . Magnified cells dividing can visualise chromosomes moving to the cell's poles. Model double helix - colours change along one branch to indicate that DNA is replicated during cell division. Illustrated helix divides to show how a mutation caused, by radiation, can be carried on through generations. Magnified blood cells, some close in on themselves reveals that some blood cells are sickle shaped thus causing sickle-cell anaemia, which is caused by a glutamic acid substituting valine, just one base pair substitution). Narrator - this is a mutation found in humans and can be lethal.

Illustrated picture of cows, all blue except one (red) who represents a genetic change that has been bred in deliberately to include new strengths. Double helix model. Camera goes into extreme close-up until image is blurred.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 4216.