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From DNA to Silly Putty, the diverse world of polymers - Jan Mattingly

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TEDEd Animation

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You are made of polymers, and so are trees and telephones and toys. A polymer is a long chain of identical molecules (or monomers) with a range of useful properties, like toughness or stretchiness -- and it turns out, we just can't live without them. Polymers occur both naturally -- our DNA is a polymer -- and synthetically, like plastic, Silly Putty and styrofoam. Jan Mattingly explains how polymers have changed our world.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Jan Mattingly
  • Producer TED-Ed
  • Director Franz Palomares
  • Animation Artist Godfrey Hibbert
  • Narrator Michelle Snow

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