Our heroine, Nancy Drew, was not in a good mood. She was being forced to do Izzy Romero's homework, in exchange for the Internet password.
"You just have to make sure that adenine is always paired with thymine, and cytosine is always paired with guanine," Izzy lectured Nancy. "And make sure each pair is connected to a sugar on the alternating sugar-phosphate side."
No...no...please, just stop... Nancy thought sadly. She didn't know what any of those things were.
"Just jump in. You'll figure it out," Izzy said. "When you're done, bring it back, and if you're right, I'll give you the password."
"Okay..." Nancy moaned. She grabbed the messy DNA model pieces, then went to a nearby study desk and spread them out. The pieces were mostly just colored balls, connected by pink sticks.
Izzy's handwritten note told Nancy that each color represented a different molecule. Or were they atoms? Nancy had no idea. She sort of failed that part of her high school biology class, because she had been solving a mystery in Canada the week her class went over DNA.
Nancy flipped open her notebook, which had all the details written out. Adenine was yellow, and it always connected to the black one. The red and blue ones always connected together, and the two longer ends alternated with white and brown. It was sort of like a weird jigsaw puzzle.
It took ten minutes, but Nancy finally got all the pieces together. She held up the DNA model proudly, ready to declare her victory over the evil, evil puzzle, when it fell into pieces.
"That means you got it wrong," Izzy called from across the room.
"Yeah, I figured that out!" Nancy snarled back at Izzy.
Now I know why she wants me to do this, Nancy thought. This is impossible! I'm not a science person, like George or the lab technicians or...hey, wait! The lab technicians! Those guys deal with DNA all the time!
Nancy pulled out her cell phone and called the River Heights Police Department. She talked with Chief McGinnis for a bit, then she got transferred over to the people at the police laboratory.
"Nancy! How are you?" the lab technician said. "I haven't heard from you since you figured out who stole my car! Thanks again for that!"
"I'm fine, and you're welcome," Nancy said. "That mystery wasn't so hard. It only took me five minutes to figure out that your daughter crashed it."
"I'm still grateful," the lab technician said. "So, what can I do for you?"
"Well, I have to make a DNA model for a school assignment," Nancy said. "But I'm not sure how the pieces fit together."
"Yes, I'll send you a picture of the DNA pieces on my phone," Nancy said. "If you could put them together for me, that'd be great. You just have to make sure that adenine is always paired with thymine, and cytosine is always paired with guanine. And make sure each pair is connected to a sugar on the alternating sugar-phosphate side."
"Nooooo!" the lab technician moaned. "You want me to work for you? Everyone always makes me do their chores for them! I'm sick of it!"
"On second thought...maybe I'll solve the puzzle myself," Nancy said.