Watson and Crick (April)



     James Dewey Watson(left) born on April 6, 1928 and Francis Henry Compton Crick (right), born on June 8, 1916, were both molecular biologists.  They are both well known for the discovery of DNA in 1953 and they both won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and medicine for their discoveries concerning the molecular structures of DNA. Their discovery of DNA and its double helixes provided the foundation for heredity and genetics. It also shows that DNA's double helixes of alternating phosphate and sugar groups that are held by hydrogen bonds between organic base pairs.

Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids


 Watson and Crick suggested a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid. They proposed this after finding that the structure of nucleic acid by Pauling and Corey was unsatisfactory for two reasons. They believed that the material that gives the X-ray diagrams is the salt not the nucleic acid since then it would be unclear what holds the structure together. Second some of acidic hydrogen bond distances appeared to be too small. They established that the foundation of DNA was creation of sugar and phosphate groups. Then with X-ray diffraction data, Watson and Crick assumed that DNA had two chains. Watson and Crick then discovered specific base pairing held the two strands of DNA together; cytosine and guanine, adenine pairing together and thymine pairing together. The base pairs are held together by hydrogen bonds, which can be broken down and easy to reform. 
With this, Watson and Crick created a double helix model of DNA with the hydrogen bonds at the core providing a way to unzip the complementary strands of DNA and easily replicate it.


This paper is entirely an hypothesis so no actual research was done. Observations were recorded. However with the production of the double helix model of DNA, and how it can easily replicate, leads to many future considerations to research such as the functions of protein created by the DNA that can easily replicate.


Watson and Crick's paper and the discovery of the double helix provides the foundation for genetics. With the easy unzipping and replication the double stranded DNA can produce many proteins that are responsible for the specialized functions of the living things on Earth. And with this research scientist can genetically engineer and modify foods for specific traits and also show use how specific traits are passed down from generation to generation of living organisms.  


"Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid" Watson and Crick.