"Life Story", Which Is An Essay About The Race To Find The Structure And Function Of The Dna Macromolecule.

2428 words - 10 pages

The hunt for where life comes from and what life consists of involved many different personalities, places, and events that came together to reveal an answer that had particularly become of interest in the years preceding the discovery, as much of the world tried to move away from death and closer to life. In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick presented the structure and function of the nucleic acid DNA, the macromolecule found in living organisms. The final conclusion was not reached without effort, however. It took two years of experiments, questions, and errors before the scientists were certain that DNA was the "secret of life". Research experiments, scientific collaboration and collegiality, ethical and unethical behavior, the economic factors, the social values of the time, and the political climate in Europe and the USA all influenced the individuals involved in unlocking the secret of life and the process of searching for the answer. In 1951, in a conference in Naples, Watson grew increasingly interested in working to find this answer, which led to him London, where Wilkins, another scientist, was working on x-ray crystallography. It was in this city that the story of life began, with many scientists conducting research and sometimes cooperating and sometimes not. Despite the final outcome, not everything was positive in the process of reaching it. Actions were not always ethical. And the economic, social, and political situation at the time was not necessarily beneficial in all aspects. Indeed, the search for life was not an easy one but it made an impacting contribution to science that influences everyone to this day.Although James Watson and Francis Crick are credited with discovering the structure and function of DNA, there were many different personalities that contributed to their discovery, including Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin, Raymond Gosling, Lawrence Bragg, Erwin Chargaff, and Jerry Donohue. Their different experiments and knowledge combined helped Francis Crick and James Watson decipher the structure and function of the DNA molecule. At King's College in London, Wilkins began to study biological molecules like DNA and viruses, while using a lot of different methods and machines. He also experimented with x-ray diffraction and produced images of DNA. At a conference in Naples, Italy in 1951, he explained his technique of drawing out thin fibers in which the bundles of DNA fibers formed a crystal-line pattern. James Watson attended the conference since his main goal was to be the first to figure out if DNA was what genes were made up of. In 1952, after being recommended by the nobel-prize winning scientists Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria, Watson, along with John Kendrew, began to work at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge. There, he met Francis Crick, a 35-year old who had not yet gotten his PhD (while Watson had obtained it in zoology in at age 23), and they began to work together. Meanwhile, the researcher...

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