Francis Crick: Pioneer of DNA ResearchMost notably recognized for co-discovering the double helix in microbiology, Francis HarryCompton Crick one of Britain’s great scientists. Prior to his research and discovery, Crick helpeddeveloped radar and magnetic mine in World War II. After the war, Crick began his research with otherscientists in the field of molecular biology and became well respected among the international scientificcommunity.Crick was born on June 8, 1916, in a wealthy part of Northampton, England. Crick’s fatherfounded a shoe and boot factory, and his mother taught children at a nearby school. Crick attended collegeat London University in 1937, earning a second class honors degree in physics. He began studying thephysics of water at high temperatures until a bomb destroyed his equipment. Crick decided to serve inWorld War II as a scientific staffer. He designed acoustic and magnetic mines for naval warfare.After the war in 1947, Francis Crick was bored of military research and needed change. Hedecided to study molecular biology. Crick applied for biomedical research in Britain in 1947. Crick joineda group of physicists, including Max Delbruck, Leo Szilard, Maurice Wilkins, and Seymor Benzer. Withlittle knowledge about Biology, Crick went to Cambridge University to work at the Strangways, a tissueculture laboratory, to study. For two years he studied the properties of cytoplasm.In 1949, Crick transferred to a medical research council unit at Cavendish Physics Laboratory inCambridge. There he worked with Max Perutz in doctoral research in the determination of proteinstructures by X-ray. In 1951 Francis met with James D. Watson. Their friendship productively escalated.They went to pubs for lunch to talk about the physical structure of DNA. Through their research theydiscovered DNA has been shown to control heredity. They also found that DNA consists of a double helixin which two sugar and phosphate structures were linked resembling a twisted ladder. They reported theirdiscoveries in “The Journal Nature” on April 25, 1953. In 1962 James Watson and Francis Crick wereawarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Later, Crick hung a single stranded helix paintedgold in the historic center of Cambridge.Throughout his career,Crick was interested in the process of life, including human consciousnessand genetic coding. Over the next few years, Crick explained his ideas through a series of lectures andpublications. In the 1960’s, upon completing the clarification of the genetic code, Crick expanded hisstudies of research to include developmental biology; the study of how genes control the growth oforgans. During this time Crick was in high demand as a lecturer and traveled the world sharing hisknowledge. In the 1970’s Crick began working on his other long time interest, Neurobiology. He studiedthe visual system and how it relates to consciousness and the electrochemical interactions of nerve cells inthe brain. He explained his findings in his book The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for theSoul. Crick was so interested and passionate about sharing his work that he was editing his last piece mierdays before he passed away at the age of 88 in 2004 from colon cancer.Francis Harry Compton Crick is best known for his discovery of the double helix structure ofDNA for which he won a Nobel Prize. His career in science began in physics, followed by biology, andultimately ending in neuroscience. In addition to conducting research in these areas, Crick also was a wellrespected international professor, lecturer, and author. Francis Crick is recognized for his intelligence, forbeing open to new ideas, and working with scientists across different disciplines.

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