The Path to the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA
The 1953 discovery by James Watson and Francis Crick of the molecular structure of DNA ranks among the most dramatic events in the history of science. In this lively, perceptive, and scholarly study, a noted historian of science provides the first in-depth account of this milestone's achievement.
Combining scientific and historical approaches, the narrative vividly recaptures the excitement of the conceptualization and evolution of ideas that led to the discovery of the genetic "secret of life." The story unfolds along several major lines: long-chain macromolecules; nucleic acids; bacterial transformations; the intellectual evolutions of physicists, chemists, and biologists; and the cross-pollination of scientific disciplines that unlocked the structural secrets of DNA. Francis Crick provides an illuminating Foreword for this abundantly illustrated and thought-provoking retelling of a great scientific detective story.
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adenine amino acids Astbury Astbury’s atoms Avery Avery’s bacterial bases Beadle Bernal birefringence Boivin Bragg Caltech Cambridge Caspersson cellulose cent Chargaff chemical chemist chemistry chromatin chromosomes colloidal conﬁguration Corey crystal crystalline crystallography cytosine Darlington deﬁnite Delbriick diagram diffraction discovery enzyme evidence Fankuchen ﬁbre ﬁeld ﬁnd ﬁrst Fourier Franklin Garrod gene genetic Gosling guanine helical Huggins hydrogen bonds inﬂuence Institute keratin King’s laboratory later Leeds Levene Luria McCarty metabolism Mirsky molecular biology molecular weight molecules Muller mutation nature nucleic acid nucleoprotein nucleotides organic pairing paper particles pattern Pauling Pauling’s peptide Perutz phage phosphate physicist physics picture pneumococcus polypeptide polypeptide chain possible problem protein purine pyrimidine reﬂections replication residues Rockefeller scientiﬁc sequence signiﬁcance speciﬁc sperm Staudinger structure substance suggested synthesis technique tetranucleotide theory transformation unit cell virus viruses Watson and Crick Wilkins wrote X-ray X-ray crystallography