How to model this DNA nucleotide mesh?

Fellow Blenderphiles,

I’ve been trying my very best to replicate this model of a DNA helix I’ve found online. The trouble I’m having is getting the nucleotides (the “rungs” of the ladder) to look that way in Blender. I’ve tried starting with a mesh rectangle or cylinder, creating more vertices with cuts and applying a displacement modifier with all sorts of texture types. I’ve also tried using the sculpt feature but I’m simply hitting a brick wall.

I can’t seem to model this feature with all the random, stunning detail in this image. Do any expert users here have any ideas as to how I can model this correctly?

Many thanks all,

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You could try experimenting Displacement modifiers - two with different texture frequencies. Simple cloudy transparency plane and some glowy out of focus Icospheres could make for a background. Quick example, have to admit lately with 2.75 it’s somehow taxy on a PC, i had better looks but when it came to render it did somehow change.