Double Helix Paper

Essay by jamie91College, UndergraduateA+, February 2012

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Pursuing the Double Helix

The Double helical structure of DNA was a great discovery. Jim Watson, co-discoverer of the structure, goes on and tells the story of how he and his partner Francis Crick race to discover the model before anyone else in the book. Watson and Crick's main competitors were Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins. Another of his rivals was Linus Pauling which provided Watson with information to discover the structure of DNA first. Jim Watson saw everyone else as competition because he was eager to be the first one to discover the model of DNA. There are various reasons why Jim Watson and Francis Crick were successful discovering the structure of DNA while Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins were not. They say never let a woman do a man's job right? That might have been one of the reasons why they found Rosalind Franklin to be an unsuccessful character.

Her cautious and careful style didn't allow her to give up her research and cooperate with working alongside of Maurice Wilkins. Another reason for Watson and Crick's successfulness could have been Franklin's fixation on form A from her crystal x-ray diffraction experiment over that of form B.

Form B of her x-ray diffraction model showed the shape of the helical structure and was widely accepted at King's where she produced the model. Although widely accepted, Franklin was sure that the DNA structure was modeled after form A where it disputes the helical structure altogether. This might have been one reason why Jim Watson and Francis Crick were successful. They believed it had to be a helical structure. Franklin was focusing on the wrong form while Watson and crick were working blindly. Perhaps if the x-ray diffractions from Franklin were available to Watson and Crick then the discovery could have...