Today we all are familiar with the structure of DNA, but do we know how scientists decoded this structure and how much time it took?
The shape and structure of DNA baffled scientists until 1953, when James Watson had a dream that made him consider the double helix. According to Dr. Watson’s alma mater, Indiana University, in his dream, he stumbled upon the double helix image for the DNA chain through his dream of a spiral staircase.
James Watson and Francis Crick played a fundamental role in defining the structure and function of DNA Their research has provided the foundation on which the science of genomics is built and enabled the great strides being made today in our understanding of genetics.
Watson and Crick used stick-and-ball models to test their ideas on the possible structure of DNA. Other scientists used experimental methods instead. Among them were Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, who were using X-ray diffraction to understand the physical structure of the DNA molecule.
A Nobel Laureate scientist Linus Pauling was also eager to solve the mystery of the shape of DNA. In early 1953 he had published a paper where he proposed a triple-helical structure for DNA. Watson and Crick had also previously worked out a three-helical model, in 1951. But their theory was wrong.
After taking inspiration from dream Watson and Crick started working on double helical structure of DNA and won the Nobel Prize for conceiving of the DNA double helix structure, the building blocks of life
Until Dr. James Watson saw a spiral staircase in a dream in 1953, no one had developed the idea of a double helix spiral structure for our DNA. Watson went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.
The structure of DNA– has been a fundamental discovery that has revolutionized healthcare, research, agriculture, Psychology, and much more.