Happy DNA day! Today we celebrate probably the most defining discovery of the last century: the structure of DNA, and the people who contributed to it which led to an explosion of new technologies and innovation: James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin. So first is an entertaining story from Watson on the story behind the discovery, which shows science’s competitiveness.
And then we have 3 of the most foundational papers which laid out the structure of DNA. For your nerdy reading pleasure. 🙂 They’re very short –2-3 pages each– so don’t worry. You won’t get too glassy eyed reading them.
Molecular structure of nucleic acids; a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid. by Watson and Crick
Molecular configuration in sodium thymonucleate. by Franklin and Gosling
Molecular structure of deoxypentose nucleic acids. by Wilkins and Stokes
All originally appearing in Nature.
I must say that I knew of Watson and Crick, but didn’t know of the others. Probably because I actively avoided taking cellular and molecular biology like the plague in undergrad… hated the little bit of it I got in biology overview courses. Ick. It makes me especially proud that a woman was involved in this historic moment in science in a time where women in science was an extraordinary feat all in itself. So a special thanks goes to Rosalind Franklin for being an awesome, science lovin’ nerdy girl when it was even less “cool’ than it is now.