By Francis Crick
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Extra resources for What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery
Its discovery had all of the parts that surrounded the invention of the double helix. The characters have been simply as colourful and various. The evidence have been simply as harassed and the fake suggestions simply as deceptive. pageant and friendliness additionally performed a component within the tale. but not anyone has written even one e-book in regards to the race for the triple helix. this is often without doubt simply because, in a truly actual experience, collagen isn't really as very important a molecule as DNA. in fact this relies to some degree on what you think about vital. ahead of Alex wealthy and that i labored (quite accidentally, by the way) on collagen, we tended to be relatively patronizing approximately it. “After all,” we acknowledged, “there’s no collagen in crops. ” In 1955, once we took an interest within the molecule, we came upon ourselves announcing, “Do you understand that one-third of the entire protein on your physique is collagen? ” yet although you examine it, DNA is extra very important than collagen, extra relevant to biology, and extra major for additional examine. So, as i've got acknowledged earlier than: it's the molecule that has the glamour, no longer the scientists. one of many oddities of the full episode is that neither Jim nor I have been formally engaged on DNA in any respect. i used to be attempting to write a thesis at the X-ray diffraction of polypeptides and proteins, whereas Jim had ostensibly come to Cambridge to aid John Kendrew crystallize myoglobin. As a pal of Maurice Wilkins I had discovered much approximately their paintings on DNA—which used to be formally recognized—while Jim had develop into intrigued by way of the diffraction challenge after listening to Maurice speak in Naples. humans frequently ask how lengthy Jim and that i labored on DNA. This really depends upon what one skill via paintings. Over a interval of virtually years we frequently mentioned the matter, both within the laboratory or in our day-by-day lunchtime stroll round the Backs (the university gardens that border the river) or at domestic, when you consider that Jim sometimes dropped in close to dinnertime, with a hungry glance in his eye. occasionally, while the summer time climate used to be rather tempting, we'd take the afternoon off and punt up the river towards Grantchester. We either believed that DNA used to be vital even though I don’t imagine we discovered simply how vital it should turn into. initially my view was once that fixing the X-ray diffraction styles of the DNA fibers was once a task for Maurice and Rosalind and their colleagues at King’s collage, London, yet as time went on either Jim and that i grew to become impatient with their sluggish growth and their pedestrian tools. the chilliness among Rosalind and Maurice didn't support concerns. the most distinction of process was once that Jim and that i had an intimate wisdom of ways the α helix was once came upon. We preferred what a robust set of constraints the recognized interatomic distances and angles supplied and the way postulating that the constitution was once a typical helix decreased the variety of unfastened parameters significantly. The King’s employees have been reluctant to be switched over to such an process. Rosalind, specifically, desired to use her experimental information as absolutely as attainable. i feel she suggestion that to bet the constitution by means of attempting a number of versions, utilizing at the least experimental evidence, was once too flashy.