DNA 60th Anniversary celebrated at Cambridge

DNA60On the 25th April 1953, Francis Crick and Jim Watson published their groundbreaking paper in Nature, in which they revealed to the world the double helical structure of DNA.

Francis and Jim were working in the MRC Unit for the Study of the Molecular Structure of Biological Systems (now the LMB), housed in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University.  Using known data, and the experimental evidence from Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin at King’s College, London, their experimenting with model building led to the discovery of the DNA structure, and it immediately suggested a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.

The unraveling of the DNA structure has been hailed as one of the most significant landmarks of the 20th century, and sixty years later this work is still being celebrated, not least in Cambridge where the structure was first unveiled.

Crick Memorial Meeting – 60th Anniversary of DNA

To commemorate the 60th anniversary, and the approaching centenary of the birth of Francis Crick, FEBS and the Agouron Institute are sponsoring in conjunction with Gonville and Caius College a unique and historic meeting to be given by colleagues who were present at the time and by historians of science.

Held in the Babbage Lecture Theatre, New Museums Site, Cambridge, speakers include James Watson, Jack Dunitz and Matthew Meselson. The event has been organized by Alan Fersht, LMB Scientist and the Master of Caius College.  Francis was a Fellow of Caius College.  The event is ticket holders only: a live webcast is being hosted by the University of Cambridge Chemistry Department.

LMB Open Day

The MRC Unit in which the work on the DNA structure was conducted became the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 1962.  In that same year, Francis Crick and Jim Watson, with Maurice Wilkins, were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work on the DNA structure. The LMB recently moved into a new building on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. To celebrate our move, and the Centenary of the MRC, we will be open to the public on Saturday 22 June.  There will be a host of exhibitions, hands-on activities and lectures.  Come and see a replica of Francis and Jim’s original DNA model, extract DNA fibres from bananas, learn about our Nobel Prize winners, and find out more about our current research.

Further References:

Crick Memorial Meeting
LMB News and Events
LMB Archive and Alumni: Francis Crick