View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/from-dna-to-silly-putty-the-diverse-world-of-polymers-jan-mattingly
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.
Lesson by Jan Mattingly, animation by TED-Ed.