After the discovery of the double helix structure, Sydney Brenner
Interviewee: Sydney Brenner. Sydney Brenner talks about James Watson's work on RNA. (DNAi Location: Code > Copying the code > Players > Sydney Brenner > James Watson and RNA)
Well, after the double helix, Jim returned to America and his science, his research program was to solve the structure of RNA, because he thought that would give him the clues to how proteins were made. Now you see, the double helix is a story of success because doing the structure of DNA gave immediate insight into replication, mutation, the code and so on, although we didn't know it, but it said this is it. But doing the structure of RNA, it's unclear even in hindsight if the structure would have told you anything about how proteins were made. So there was this kind of faith that if we could get the structure we'll get the understanding. They didn't get the structure but even if they could have got it, I doubt whether they could have the understanding.
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James Watson talks about RNA's role in the cell.
Matt Meselson also had a hand in Sydney Brenner's RNA experiment. He talks about the experiment and how they waited for James Watson's group to finished their RNA work before publishing.
1953 picture of Francis Crick (L) and James Watson (R) walking along the backs of King's College in Cambridge.
A young James Watson holding up a model of the structure of DNA.
James Watson talks about announcing the discovery of the DNA structure.
James Watson and Francis Crick solved the structure of DNA. Other scientists, like Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, also contributed to this discovery.
James Watson talks about his partnership with Francis Crick.
James Watson talks about how he and Francis Crick decided whose name went first on the 1953 paper.
DNA as a double helix.