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Biotech Science

Double-Helix Model of DNA Paper Published 59 Years Ago 112

pigrabbitbear writes with musings on the anniversary of the groundbreaking paper on DNA structure by Watson and Crick. From the article: "Consider every organism that's ever lived on Earth. From dinosaurs to bacteria, the number is near infinite, and an overwhelming majority have their entire structures and lives dictated according to their DNA. The DNA molecule is life itself, and it's astonishing that we've only known what it looks like for less than a century. But it's true: In one of the most groundbreaking papers ever published, James D. Watson and Francis Crick described the double-helix structure of DNA in Nature, 59 years ago today."
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Double-Helix Model of DNA Paper Published 59 Years Ago

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  • Re:Rosalind Franklin (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Monday April 02, 2012 @02:53PM (#39551833) Homepage Journal
    And therein lies the real charm of how this story is worded: the celebration is in favour of the publication of a description, not the discovery. The last link in the summary [vice.com] covers the controversy a bit; though it leaves out mention of the graduate student that Watson and Crick acquired to help them through the hydrogen bonding, the name of whom escapes me at the moment. (Anyone remember?) I always felt he deserved more credit than he got.
  • All thanks to LSD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Monday April 02, 2012 @02:55PM (#39551847) Journal

    Who knows how much longer it would have taken to discover if Crick wasn't tripping balls:

    http://www.miqel.com/entheogens/francis_crick_dna_lsd.html [miqel.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2012 @03:00PM (#39551893)

    Sure his account is one-sided, but I don't think he's the type who would or could conceal vital facts about what Ms. Franklin did or didn't do sixty years ago that could have a bearing on credit for the discovery. Watson confirmed that he attended a talk given by Franklin where she presented an x-ray crystallography photo of DNA that seemed to indicate some sort of helical structure, but he says that Franklin insisted that there was no helix.

    The relationship of Crick to Watson seemed similar to that between Shockey and Bardeen/Brattain for the invention of the transistor; the leader and driving force, vs. the one(s) who actually made the discovery.

    Many years ago I attended a talk Watson gave about the discovery. When a woman asked the inevitable question in Q&A (everyone laughed nervously), Watson replied, "I think the reason Rosalind didn't make the discovery was because she wanted to do it herself, whereas Francis and I could bounce ideas off each other".

  • Re:Why now? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Unoriginal_Nickname ( 1248894 ) on Monday April 02, 2012 @04:10PM (#39552711)

    Sorry to ruin your day, but our base-10 numeral system is literally the only thing us "metric-system folks" think is special about 10. At the very least, it's a damn sight more convenient than the base "width of thumb" and base "length of foot" that's prized by the knuckledraggers and mouthbreathers.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.