Synopses & Reviews
The 1953 discovery by James Watson and Francis Crick of the molecular structure of DNA ranks among the most dramatic events in the history of science. In this lively, perceptive, and scholarly study, a noted historian of science provides the first in-depth account of this milestone's achievement.
Combining scientific and historical approaches, the narrative vividly recaptures the excitement of the conceptualization and evolution of ideas that led to the discovery of the genetic "secret of life." The story unfolds along several major lines: long-chain macromolecules; nucleic acids; bacterial transformations; the intellectual evolutions of physicists, chemists, and biologists; and the cross-pollination of scientific disciplines that unlocked the structural secrets of DNA. Francis Crick provides an illuminating Foreword for this abundantly illustrated and thought-provoking retelling of a great scientific detective story.
Perceptive study of the evolution of ideas leading to understanding of genetic "secret of life." Work of Watson, Crick, others.
Written by a noted historian of science, this in-depth account traces how Watson and Crick achieved one of science's most dramatic feats: their 1953 discovery of the molecular structure of DNA. 1974 edition.
Written by a noted biology historian, this classic constitutes the first in-depth account of the 1953 discovery of the molecular structure of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick. Crick provided the Foreword, in which he proclaimed that "no future historian of science in this area will be able to ignore this present volume." 1974 edition.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 457-506) and indexes.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Francis Crick
Note on References to Source Material
List of Plates
Note to the Introduction (1994)
"Section I From Colloidal Particles to Long-Chain Molecules: Bergmann, Staudinger, Svedberg, Polanyi, Mark, Astbury"
Chapter 1 The Macromolecule
Chapter 2 The Ultracentrifuge
Chapter 3 The Fibre Diagram and the Long-Chain Molecule
Chapter 4 The Leeds School under Astbury
Chapter 5 Astbury under Attack
"Section II Nucleic Acids and the Nature of the Hereditary Material: Levene, Caspersson, Garrod, Muller, Darlington, Stanley"
"Chapter 6 Kossel, Levene and the Tetranucleotide Hypothesis"
Chapter 7 The Nucleoprotein Theory of the Gene
Chapter 8 The Physiology of the Gene
Chapter 9 The Enzyme Theory of Life
Chapter 10 The Chemistry of Virus-Genes
"Section III Bacterial Transformation, its Nature and Implications: Griffith, Avery, Boivin, Vendrely, Chargaff, Wyatt"
Chapter 11 Bacterial Transformation
Chapter 12 The Identity of the Transforming Substance
Chapter 13 Support for Avery
Chapter 14 Base Ratios
"Section IV Intellectual Migrations: Delbrück, Schrödinger, Bernal, Perutz, Pauling, Watson and Crick"
Chapter 15 Physicists in Biology: The Informational School
Chapter 16 Physicists and Chemists in Biology: The Structural School
"Chapter 17 Pauling, Caltech and the a-Helix"
Chapter 18 Watson and Crick
"Section V Hunting for the Helix: Wilkins, Gosling, Furberg, Franklin, Pauling, Watson and Crick"
Chapter 19 DNA as a Single- or Multiple-Strand Helix
Chapter 20 DNA as a Trip Helix
Chapter 21 DNA as a Double Helix
Chapter 22 Conclusion