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Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Happy DNA Day 2023!

It was 70 years ago today that the famous Watson and Crick paper was published in Nature along with papers by Franklin & Gosling and Wilkins, Stokes, & Wilson. Threre's a great deal of misinformation circulating about this discovery so I wrote up a brief history of the events based largely on Horace Freeland Judson's book The Eighth Day of Creation. Every biochemistry and molecular biology student must read this book or they don't qualify to be an informed scientist. However, if you are not a biochemistry student then you might enjoy my short version.

Some practising scientists might also enjoy refreshing their memories so they have an accurate view of what happened in case their students ask questions.

The Story of DNA (Part 1)

Where Rosalind Franklin teaches Jim and Francis something about basic chemistry.

The Story of DNA (Part 2)

Where Jim and Francis discover the secret of life.

Here's the latest version of Rosalind Frankin's contribution written by Matthew Cobb and Nathaniel Comfort: What Rosalind Franklin truly contributed to the discovery of DNA's structure. If you want to know the accurate version of her history then this is a must-read. Cobb is working on a biography of Crick and Comfort is writing a biography of Watson.

Here are some other posts that might interest you on DNA Day.

1 comment :

Donald Forsdyke said...

Details of how advancements of knowledge came about can guide our thinking about how to advance knowledge in the future. Fine-tuning those details, as in the Cobb-Comfort piece, is thus of great value. However, even more important is the unearthing of scientific aspects, the significance of which did not emerge until much later.

For example, in a follow-up paper (1971) Crick advanced the hypothesis that the conventional Watson-Crick duplex might open up in regions with palindrome-like base sequences. so forming stem-loop structures. Decades later Kleckner and her associates saw the possible relevance of this to the problem of how homologous sequences pair for recombination.

According to Olby, Crick deemed the legend to a figure in his paper of such importance that he had asked the editors of Nature to deviate from the usual font size. They declined to do so.