Francis Crick and James Watson and the Building Blocks of Life

Francis Crick and James Watson and the Building Blocks of Life

Francis Crick and James Watson and the Building Blocks of Life

Francis Crick and James Watson and the Building Blocks of Life

Synopsis

The names of James Watson and Francis Crick are bound together forever because the scientific discovery they made was truly a joint enterprise. As Edward Edelson reveals in this intriguing biography, Watson and Crick were the first to describe the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, the molecule that carries our genes and determines everything from the color of our eyes to the shape of our fingernails. Even though Watson and Crick's collaboration lasted only a few years, their achievement was enough to tie their names together forever in the history of science and to establish a firm footing for what was then a radical new branch of science: molecular biology. In doing so, they paved the way for the early detection of genetic diseases such as sickle-cell anemia, and for new scientific leaps such as animal cloning.

Excerpt

On April 25, 1953, the science journal Nature published a paper entitled “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid.” The paper was submitted by James D. Watson and Francis H. C. Crick. It was a short paper, just 128 lines in print, but it stands as a landmark in the history of science. Those few lines carried nothing less than the code of life on earth. Our lives and our health today are being shaped in many ways by the ramifications of that scientific paper.

When they published their paper, Watson and Crick were young scientists, not widely known at all. But that paper changed the situation totally. Suddenly they were among the most famous scientists in the world. In a few years of intensive effort they had won a high-stakes race against some of the most distinguished scientists in the United States and Europe.

The collaboration of Watson and Crick lasted only a few years before their careers moved in different directions, yet their achievement was enough to tie their names together forever in the history of science. And it also established a firm footing for a branch of science that was just . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.