Watson & Crick with DNA model


The discoverers of the structure of DNA. James Watson (b.1928) at left and Francis Crick (b.1916), seen with their model of part of a DNA molecule in 1953. Crick and Watson met at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, in 1951. Their work on the structure of DNA was performed with a knowledge of Chargaff's ratios of the bases in DNA and some access to the X-ray crystallography of Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin at King's College London. Combining all of this work led to the deduction that DNA exists as a double helix, thus to its structure. Crick, Watson and Wilkins shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, Franklin having died of cancer in 1958.

Credit: A. Barrington Brown / Science Source

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