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Crick and Watson's DNA molecular model, England, 1953

Crick and Watson's DNA molecular model, England, 1953

Credits: The Science Museum/SSPL

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In 1953, Francis Crick (1914-2000) and James Watson (b. 1928) discovered the double helix structure of DNA. DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) carries the genetic information in cells in the body. Crick and Watson made their discovery with the help of the work of Maurice Wilkins (1916-2004) and Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), an X-ray crystallographer. The three men shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1962 – Rosalind Franklin had died in 1958. This reconstruction of the model uses many of the original metal plates.

Object number:

1977-310

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Glossary:

Glossary: molecular model

a physical model that represents molecules and their processes and structures

Glossary: DNA

DNA stores the information, or blueprints, of every cell and is located in the genes. It is made up of two strands which form a double helix that is linked by hydrogen bonds. It was first described in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson.

Glossary: Nobel Prize

Awarded annually for outstanding work in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics, and the promotion of peace.