The Role James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins And Rosalind Franklin Had In Finding The Structure Of Dna

1688 words - 7 pages

In 1962 James Watson (1928-today), Francis Crick (1916-2004), and Maurice Wilkins (1916-2004) jointly received the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for their determination in 1953 of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Because the Nobel Prize can be awarded only to the living, Wilkins's colleague Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), who died of cancer at the age of 37, could not be honored.The background for the work of the four scientists was formed by several scientific breakthroughs: the progress made by X-ray crystallographers in studying organic macromolecules; the growing evidence supplied by geneticists that it was DNA, not protein, in chromosomes that was responsible for heredity; Erwin Chargaff's experimental finding that there are equal numbers of A and T bases and of G and C bases in DNA; and Linus Pauling's discovery that the molecules of some proteins have helical shapes--arrived at through the use of atomic models and a keen knowledge of the possible disposition of various atoms.Of the four DNA researchers only Rosalind Franklin had any degrees in chemistry. The daughter of a prominent London banking family, where all children--girls and boys--were encouraged to develop their individual aptitudes, she held her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cambridge University. During World War II she gave up her research scholarship to contribute to the war effort at the British Coal Utilization Research Association, where she performed fundamental investigations on the properties of coal and graphite. After the war she joined the Laboratoire Centrale des Services Chimiques de l'Etat in Paris, where she was introduced to the technique of X-ray crystallography and rapidly became a respected authority in this field. In 1951 she returned to England to King's College, London, where her charge was to upgrade the X-ray crystallographic laboratory there for work with DNA.Already at work at King's College was Maurice Wilkins, a New Zealand-born but Cambridge-educated physicist. As a new Ph.D. he worked during World War II on the improvement of cathode-ray tube screens for use in radar and then was shipped out to the United States to work on the Manhattan Project. Like many other nuclear physicists he became disillusioned with his subject when it was applied to the creation of the atomic bomb; he turned instead to biophysics, working with his Cambridge mentor, John T. Randall--who had undergone a similar conversion--first at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and then at King's College, London. It was Wilkins's idea to study DNA by X-ray crystallographic techniques, which he had already begun to implement when Franklin was appointed by Randall. The relationship between Wilkins and Franklin was unfortunately a poor one and probably slowed their progress.Meanwhile, in 1951 23-year-old James Watson, a Chicago-born American, arrived at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge. Watson had two degrees in zoology: a bachelor's degree from...

Find Another Essay On The role James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin had in finding the structure of DNA

Chemistry and the Structure of DNA

690 words - 3 pages Genetics relies on chemistry to explain phenomena related to the field. The structure of DNA relies on chemistry. In fact, when James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA, they did so by building models based on the laws of chemistry. Chemistry also relates heavily to the structure and function of one of the main products of DNA: protein. Chemistry dictates the structure of DNA. DNA is a polymer of monomers called nucleic

Biography of Francis Crick Essay

1321 words - 5 pages career (Francis Crick 1-2). While still a graduate student in 1953, Francis Crick helped discover the structure of DNA. At this time he also helped to discover the replication responsible for heredity. However, Crick did not discover all of this on his own; he was accompanied by James Watson. They were responsible for what became known as “the secret to life.” In 1962, Crick, along with Watson, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in

Discovery of the Structure of DNA

2524 words - 10 pages patterns and determined that phosphate groups must lay on the outside of the model (Frank-Kamenetskii 12, 1997). Because of previous work with her partner Maurice Wilkins, it had already been determined that DNA was a molecule of two “strands” that formed a tight pair. Without permission from Franklin, Wilkins shared her work with Watson and Crick. In 1953, Watson and Crick published Franklin’s proposed structure of DNA (“James Watson”). After

The Role of DNA in Cloning

833 words - 3 pages genetically identical to the unit or individual from which it was derived.” I always thought that cloning was impossible, and is just science fiction. The process of cloning is the creation of genetically identical copies of a biological unit. This means that every single part of the DNA is identical. The natural way of a clone is identical twins. In nature, twins occur just after fertilization of an egg cell by a sperm cell. Then when the

Finding Hope in James Muyskens' The Sufficiency of Hope

6753 words - 27 pages Finding Hope in James Muyskens' The Sufficiency of Hope Most people hope the world is the way they believe it is. That is, most people hope that their view of the world is right. They usually do not hope for the truth about things to be much better than what they suppose it is. Sometimes the hope is a factor in causing the belief; sometimes the hope stems from the desire to be right about one's belief; and in some cases the hope may follow

Francis Crick and His Contribution to Biology

1393 words - 6 pages knowledge of x-ray diffraction, while Watson had great knowledge of phage and bacterial genetics. With these diverse backgrounds, they uncovered the true structure of DNA, the double helix, in 1953. Than nine years later Francis Crick, along with his companions James Watson and Maurice Wilkins were given the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the model of the DNA double helix and the structure of nucleic acids.Crick's discovery was far deeper than just

"The Double Helix" by James D. Watson

922 words - 4 pages others. The first person who really helped them along the way were Maurice Wilkins, he taught Watson the basics of X-ray diffraction. Next was, Sir Lawrence Bragg, because they were working under his supervision and direction. Although not enjoyable to work with, Rosalind Franklin gave them copies of her DNA X-rays. And finally Linus Pauling, he was mostly just inspiration for their ideas about the helix. Overall, this is how I had imagined science

Examining the character of Andres in "Talking in Whispers" by James Watson

772 words - 3 pages described and James Watson uses them to help reflect his inner feelings ('the window of the soul'). In ch.2 after the description of the Black Berets shooting the youth the narrator comments:"Andres swung round. There were tears in his eyes. He saw the slumped remains of somebody's son." (p.33)By describing his tears it suggests that Andres is sensitive and feels things deeply. It shows that because of his own sufferings he can easily relate to other

The Structure and Role of Proteins in Cell Membranes

1564 words - 6 pages The Structure and Role of Proteins in Cell Membranes Cells are the building blocks of which all living organisms are composed. There are lots of different types of cells that make up living organisms but they are all similar in structure. All cells are surrounded by a cell membrane (or plasma membrane), which controls the movement of substances into and out of the cell. Cell membranes are described as partially

"Life Story", which is an essay about the race to find the structure and function of the DNA macromolecule

2428 words - 10 pages 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

The Double Helix by James Watson

933 words - 4 pages up by F.C. Bawden and N.W. Pirie who were English plant virologists who had opinions against Watson's theories on TMV. Andre kept the meeting alive by giving input on divalent metals in phage multiplication. This made him agreeable to ions being important in the structure of nucleic-acid. The Royal Society Meeting gave no inkling that King's had even discussed the ions since they had seen Watson and Francis back in December. Rosy insisted that DNA

Similar Essays

James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins And Rosalind Franklin

1105 words - 4 pages In 1962 James Watson (1928- ), Francis Crick (1916- ), and Maurice Wilkins (1916- ) jointly received the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for their determination in 1953 of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Because the Nobel Prize can be awarded only to the living, Wilkins's colleague Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), who died from cancer at the age of thirty-seven, could not be honored.James Watson and Francis CrickThe molecule

Chance Or Planning. Scientists And Their Lives. Mentiones Darwin, Watson, Crick, Franklin, And Wilkins

1171 words - 5 pages success were James Watson and Francis Crick. These two men were not great planners of scientific research, but through chance and luck they obtained their scientific goal. Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA and its double helix. Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, and Linus Pauling were other scientists that were extremely close to discovering the structure of DNA at the same time as Watson and Crick. They all had basically the same

Watson And Crick Essay

1580 words - 7 pages DNA and proteins. Ultimately they discovered the process of X"Ray Crystallography that was being used at the time by Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin. Wilkins and Franklin had collected experimental data on DNA but had not been able to figure out the significance of the structure and what it meant for the scientific world. However, Watson and Crick, both of who were working at the Cavendish Lab at Cambridge University, were able to interpret

Solving The Structure Of Dna Essay

945 words - 4 pages The Double Helix by James Watson is his personal reflection on discovering the structure of the DNA molecule. With contributions of other scientists, James Watson and Francis Crick were able to solve the structure of DNA. Through contributions and integral relationships of Watson and Crick to Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin, Linus Pauling, and other smaller contributors the DNA structure was finally solved. The first and primary contribution