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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When he saw the blank regions that characterize helical patterns, he jumped into
action, quickly spilling out several possible helical TMV structures. From this
moment on, I knew I could no longer avoid actually understanding the helical
It was tilted at about 25 degrees, so that if I were lucky I'd find the helical
reflections. The moment I held the still-wet negative against the light box, I knew
we had it. The telltale helical markings were unmistakable. Now there should be
Moreover, the black cross of reflections which dominated the picture could arise
only from a helical structure. With the A form, the argument for a helix was never
straightforward, and considerable ambiguity existed as to exactly which type of ...
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THE DOUBLE HELIX: A Personal Account Of The Discovery Of The Structure Of DnaUser Review - Kirkus
Even without understanding any of the scientific data processed here, the general reader will find it hard to remain immune to this account of how J.D. Watson, along with another bright, volatile ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing
James Watson's love letter to himself, as he explains to us exactly how he single-handedly solved the structure of DNA, with the insignificant help of a cast of baboons, clowns, and women. Watson's ... Read full review