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Double Helix Essay

437 words - 2 pages

A strong drive to succeed and the ability to be in the right place at the right time may be common features of successful people. Despite the best efforts of scientists, some discoveries they make are the purely result of serendipity, an unexpected result of an experiment or an accidental discovery or breakthrough. This is not to say that scientists wait around for something to happen. Usually, the unexpected discoveries occur as the result of curiosity and a desire to understand how the world works. Sometimes being the in the right place at the right time is enough to propel a curious ...view middle of the document...

On Feb. 28, 1953, Francis Crick walked into the Eagle pub in Cambridge, England, and, as James Watson later recalled, announced that "we had found the secret of life." Actually, they had. That morning, Watson and Crick had figured out the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA. And that structure, a "double helix" that can "unzip" to make copies of itself, confirmed suspicions that DNA carries life's hereditary information. In this way, each molecule of DNA is able to create two identical copies of it self. . The two scientists had determined the structure of the molecule deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), of which all living matter is made. In June they published their findings in the British science journal Nature. The article created a sensation.The initials DNA and the elegant model of the double helix became known around the world. So did Watson and Crick. Their discovery revolutionized the study of biology and genetics, making possible the recombinant DNA techniques used by today's biotechnology industry.It took an ex-physicist and a former ornithology student, along with some unwitting help from a competitor, to crack the secret of life.A strong drive to succeed and the ability to be in the right place at the right time may be common features of successful people. "It may be a question of being in the right place at the right time. It could be accidental."

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