Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Wilkins, Stokes and Wilson Nature paper (1953)

Wilkins published his work on the structure of DNA in the same issue of Nature as the Watson & Crick paper and the Franklin & Gosling paper. The coauthors on the wilkins paper were A.R. Stokes and H.R. Wilson. They were reunited in 1993 on the 40th anniversary of the publication as shown in the photo. (From left to right: Raymond Gosling, Herbert Wilson, Maurice Wilkins and Alec Stokes.)

A copy of the Wilkins, Stokes and Wilson paper is here.

The title of the paper "Molecular Structure of Deoxypentose Nucleic Acids" indicates that this is a paper that will discuss details and experimental results. This is a paper that emphasizes the similarities between X-ray diffraction patterns of DNA fibres from calf thymus, wheat germ, herring sperm, human, and T2 bacteriophage. They also look at DNA in vivo by examining intact sperm heads, bacteriophage, and animal viruses. The authors conclude that all these DNA have the same general structure and that it is consistent with the model proposed by Watson & Crick.

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