© 2003

50 Years of DNA

  • Editors
  • Julie Clayton
  • Carina Dennis

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages 1-6
  2. Julie Clayton, Carina Dennis
    Pages 7-11
  3. Julie Clayton, Carina Dennis
    Pages 12-25
  4. Julie Clayton, Carina Dennis
    Pages 26-35
  5. Julie Clayton, Carina Dennis
    Pages 36-48
  6. Julie Clayton, Carina Dennis
    Pages 49-53
  7. Julie Clayton, Carina Dennis
    Pages 54-57
  8. Julie Clayton, Carina Dennis
    Pages 58-63
  9. Julie Clayton, Carina Dennis
    Pages 64-68
  10. Julie Clayton, Carina Dennis
    Pages 69-74
  11. Julie Clayton, Carina Dennis
    Pages 75-81
  12. Carina Dennis, Philip Campbell, J. D. Watson, F. H. C. Crick, M. H. F. Wilkins, A. R. Stokes et al.
    Pages 82-139
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 140-144

About this book


Crick and Watson's discovery of the structure of DNA fifty years ago marked one of the great turning points in the history of science. Biology, immunology, medicine and genetics have all been radically transformed in the succeeding half-century, and the double helix has become an icon of our times. This fascinating exploration of a scientific phenomenon provides a lucid and engaging account of the background and context for the discovery, its significance and afterlife, while a series of essays by leading scientists, historians and commentators offers uniquely individual perspectives on DNA and its impact on modern science and society.


biology DNA history of science molecular biology nucleic acid structural biology

About the authors

BRUCE ALBERTS, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, USA PHILIP BALL JOHN BELL, University of Oxford, UK ZEV BRYANT, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, University of California, USA CARLOS BUSTAMANTE, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Department of Physics at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, USA ARAVINDA CHAKRAVARTI , McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA GARY FELSENFELD, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, USA ERROL FRIEDBERG, Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA DAVID GALAS, Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Sciences, USA MARK GROUDINE, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Washington USA LEROY HOOD, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, USA MARTIN KEMP, Department of the History of Art, University of Oxford and Wallace Kemp, London, UK PETER LITTLE, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia BRENDA MADDOX MACLYN MCCARTY, Rockefeller University, USA GUSTAV NOSSAL, Department of Pathology, The University of Melbourne, Australia ROBERT OLBY, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, USA SVANTE PÄÄBO, Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany NADRIAN SEEMAN, Department of Chemistry, New York University, USA STEVEN SMITH, Department of Physics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, USA

Bibliographic information


'The editors have crafted a concise, reader-friendly and handsomely illustrated history of the discovery that revolutionized biology...' - Publishers Weekly

'...a superbly illustrated, carefully researched and well-written DNA jubilee book...For me, and probably many other readers who are interested in the history of science, this book provides new insights into understanding what really happened in the first few months of 1953, and who we should remember as providing the decisive data required to elucidate the structure of DNA...50 Years of DNA should find its place on the desks of all those who are interested in history, the current state of DNA research and its future.' - Andrzej Stasiak, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, European Molecular Biology Organization, EMBO reports