The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
The classic personal account of Watson and Crick’s groundbreaking discovery of the structure of DNA, now with an introduction by Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind.
By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only twenty-four, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science’s greatest mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries.
With humility unspoiled by false modesty, Watson relates his and Crick’s desperate efforts to beat Linus Pauling to the Holy Grail of life sciences, the identification of the basic building block of life. Never has a scientist been so truthful in capturing in words the flavor of his work.
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Conceivably this fact affected my casual pursuit of chemistry . For why should I
get excited learning boring chemical facts as long as the chemists never provided
anything incisive about the nucleic acids ? The odds , however , were against ...
Also Francis did not like the fact that the structure gave no explanation for the
Chargaff rules ( adenine equals thymine , guanine equals cytosine ) . I , however
, maintained my lukewarm response to Chargaff's data . So I welcomed the arrival
Nonetheless , like almost everyone else , she saw the appeal of the base pairs
and accepted the fact that the structure was too pretty not to be true . Moreover ,
even before she learned of our proposal , the X - ray evidence had been forcing ...
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - pramodghuge - LibraryThing
A very personal account by the author James Watson on how he and his colleague Francis Crick with the help of others beat Linus Pauling to win the coveted Nobel prize for identifying the structure of ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - ajlewis2 - LibraryThing
I read about a third of it. I found the story wandered and wasn't clear. His treatment of Rosalind Franklin sounded like something written in the 1950s. It was at that point that I decided the book ... Read full review