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Chapter 12 - DNA and RNA

DNA was first isolated in 1869 by the Swiss scientist, Freidrich Meischer.  He named the material "nuclein".     By the late 1940's, scientists knew that DNA contained a sugar, some phosphate units, and four nitrogenous bases (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine), but no one knew how it all fit together.  In 1953, Linus Pauling, at UC-Berkeley, announced that he had discovered the structure of DNA - a triple helix.   James Watson looked at Pauling's paper and knew Pauling was wrong.   Then Watson and Francis Crick saw the x-ray diffraction photograph taken by Rosalind Franklin and they knew that DNA had to be a double helix. 


On March 7, 1953, Watson and Crick determined the structure of DNA and on April 25, 1953, their paper, "A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid" was published in Nature.   In 1962, Watson, Crick, and Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel Prize in Medicine.   Wilkins worked closely with Rosalind Franklin who died in 1958 of cancer.   (The Nobel Prize is not given posthumously.)  Then in 1965, the French biologists, Francois Jacob and Jacques Monrod received the Nobel Prize for their part in determining how protein synthesis works.    For the better part of the last century, DNA research has been active!   And the mysteries continue to be unraveled in laboratories all over the world.

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Judy Jones,
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Judy Jones,
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Judy Jones,
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Judy Jones,
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