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Twists and Turns

Hosted by the Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences

Maximum number of teams = 30 (6 per timeslot)
Number of competitors per team is 4


To construct a 3-D model of a specific protein (polypeptide) based on a two-dimensional ribbon model and correctly answer skill testing questions about protein structures and functions.

To examine the primary, secondary and tertiary structures of a protein. Teams of 4 students.


The protein must be constructed from the following list of materials that will be provided.

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Toothpicks
  • Ribbon
  • String
  • Coloured wool
  • Dry pasta (rotini, penne, spaghetti)
  • Felt
  • Masking tape

There is no requirement to use everything on the list. Scissors will also be provided.


The teams will be assigned points based on the accuracy of the reproduction, creativity and innovation in demonstrating the forces which hold the protein together, the esthetic appeal of the piece and the number of correct answers to the skill testing questions.

A sample of a simple ribbon model of a protein:

Competitions (2016):

Note: Click on an event names
for more info

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- The Speeding Brain
- Twists and Turns