Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Discovery of DNA- Brooke Mastmeier

I. Introduction-
DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic directions that are used for the development of all living organisms. DNA consists of two long polymers, and the backbones of DNA that are made up of phosphate and sugar groups that are joined by ester bonds. The two long strands run in opposite directions which make them: anti-parallel. DNA was discovered, but wasn’t recognized as genetic material until a century later!
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II. Discovery- In 1953 two young scientists said that they found “the secret to life.” James Watson and Francis Crick had discovered DNA. The find led to biotechnology industry and the deciphering of the human genetic blueprint! The discovery didn’t come randomly, ten years prior Oswald Avery had suspected that DNA carried genetic information. Using X-ray diffraction, Franklin and Wilkins beamed X-rays through the structure of the molecule, and the X-ray bounced off of its component parts. After Watson and Crick saw the picture they discovered that DNA had two chains that were made up of nucleotides, and that it had formed a double helix. The discovery was announced in 1953, and they explained how DNA could replicate itself during cell division which enabled organisms to reproduce themselves. For there work they received the Nobel peace prize in 1962.
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III. Biography of Investigators-
Francis Crick-
Francis Crick was educated near London, he received a BS degree in physics at college. He became interested in Biology and wanted to focus on proteins and the effect of X-Rays had on them.

James Watson-
James Watson was born in Chicago and had gotten a scholarship to the University of Chicago. He received a degree in the field on zoology at Indiana University, there he studied the effect of X-rays on bacteria.

-When Crick and Watson met at the University of Cambridge, and they both had an interest in discovering a genes real structure. They had experimented with paste cardboard, they later figured out the DNA was composed of 2 double helical-configurations.

IV. Impact on the World- The discovery of DNA was the most significant discovery of the 20th century! This discovery was important and has had an impact on medicines and science. It has helped to identify genes that lead to the development of diseases also to producing pharmaceuticals. The discovery of DNA has even helped with things such as cloning, identifying victims, and even determining a person guilty or innocent in a crime. The analysis of genes has transformed the world!

V. Journal Article-
Kiss, J. Z. (2007). Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code. The American Biology Teacher, 69(2), 120. Retrieved February 17, 2011, from Questia database:
This Journal Article is an article that explains the biography of one of the discoverers: Francis Crick. It explains how Francis Crick received various awards for his discovery. It also explains that it was one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century, also how he is a hero to the science world!

VI. References-

1. "Biography of Francis Crick & James Watson." Biography, Autobiography & Memoir resources at Web. 17 Feb. 2011.

2. "DNA." Wikipedia. (n.d.) Web. 16 Feb. 2011. .

3. "Evolution: Library: The Discovery of DNA's Structure." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. (n.d.) Web. 17 Feb. 2011.
4. Kiss, J. Z. (2007). Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code. The American Biology Teacher, 69(2), 120. Retrieved February 17, 2011, from Questia database:

5. "The Importance of DNA." Rosalind Frankiln University. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2011.
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