Watson and Crick (May)

Watson and Crick

Who are they?

    Jame Watson on left and Francis Crick on right
    James Dewey Watson (left), born on April 6 1928 in Chicago and Francis Henry Compton Crick (right), born on June 8 1916, were both molecular biologists, whom were most noted for receiving the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine for their determination of the structures of DNA. With this discovery, a new understanding of heredity was unraveled through the determination of the DNA's double helixes of alternating phosphate and sugar groups, in which were held by hydrogen bonds between pairs of organic bases. 

Genetic Implications of DNA structure


    After Watson and Crick had proposed a structure for DNA that was backed up by X-ray data, they went on to discuss its genetic implications. It was well established that the backbone of DNA was an alteration of sugar and phosphate groups. From X-ray data, Watson and Crick assumed that there are two chains of DNA. Following some analytic results, Watson & Crick discovered that the bases had a specific pairing, keeping the two strands of DNA together; adenine and thymine pairing together, and cytosine and guanine together. 

    As this suggests that the two strands complement each other, they have also explained DNA replication, using this model. For DNA to be copies, the two strands would unwind and replicate, forming a new complementary strand for each by duplicating the sequence of the pair of bases, thus forming two new DNA strands identical to the initial one. 


   Because this paper was all a hypothesis, no experiment were done, only simply observation were written. However, with that being said, Watson and Crick also proposed a purpose for the protein molecule, which for instance include controlling the coiling and uncoiling of the DNA. While their paper still left some questions unanswered, it gave possible answers to some key questions that would later be tested out and proven. 


    Watson and Crick's paper shaped our knowledge of genetics in various ways. Their discovery of the double helix enabled us to understand the formation of life. Discovering the shape of DNA, the double helix, was as significant as the discovery that DNA held the genetic instructions for human life. Due to the fact that the structure was uncovered, scientists were able to make a link between the discoveries produced by Mendel and human development. With the understanding of the shape of the DNA, scientists are able to do genetic engineering and make modifications today.


"Genetical Implications of the Structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid". Watson and Crick. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5IbFkUWR7OISExzdDNmODVKVXM/edit