James Watson: Solving the Mystery of DNAby Janet Hamilton
People have always observed that different traits are passed down from parents to their children. Throughout history, there had been many explanations offered for this phenomenon. By the middle of the twentieth century, scientists had learned that genes were what determined heredity, and that deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA), which contained the genes, was the key to this process. In discovering the true structure of DNA, James Watson and Francis Crick made the most important breakthrough in the history of genetics. This discovery was the beginning of a revolution in biology that continues to this day. In 1962, nine years after the publication of their landmark article on DNA, Watson and Crick were honored with the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with their colleague, Maurice Wilkins. From cloning to crime investigation to medical science, developments in genetics have opened up a seemingly endless number of possibilities for the future. With his contribution to solving the mystery of DNA, James Watson has helped open the door to understanding the deepest mysteries of life.
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