Scientists celebrate 100th anniversary of DNA double helix discovery

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When Francis Crick was 31, he decided he needed to change his luck. As a graduate student in physics during World War II, his research hadn’t gone so well; his experiment was demolished by a bomb. To beat the war, he joined it, working on naval warfare mines for the British Admiralty. After the war, he sought a new direction.

Crick’s interest in genes was equaled by his curiosity about the brain. Both were topics that he liked to gossip about.

“I thought ‘Well look, I have a training in physics and I know a bit of chemistry, I don’t know anything about the brain,’” he said. So Crick decided it would be more sensible to start with genes.


Molecular biologists everywhere will celebrate that decision on June 8, the centennial of Crick’s birth, in Weston Favell, Northampton, England, in 1916.

In 1953, at the University of Cambridge, Crick and his collaborator James Watson figured out how life’s most important molecule, deoxyribonucleic acid, was put together.

Read full, original post: Francis Crick’s good luck revolutionized biology 


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