A remarkably short scientific paper, known officially as a letter, was published on 25 April 1953 in Nature, by James Watson and Francis Crick.

It was perhaps the most momentous paper of the modern era, proposing a structure for the chemical, DNA (Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid), which composes the hereditary material of all living cellular organisms.

The proposed structure – a double helix – rapidly became an icon, aesthetically beautiful, and stunning in its capacity to explain how DNA is replicated in order to transmit the genetic material to the next generation.

The insight that the discovery provided, into how human characteristics arise from our individual genes, created a veritable super-highway of research, ushering in gene therapy for inherited diseases and culminating in the sequencing of the human genome.

The discovery of DNA paved the way for a whole new arena of human endeavour, the biotechnology industry. Now, DNA technology affects everyday lives. Medical and scientific experiments, based on the discovery of DNA, are having a colossal impact on the future.


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