Nonfiction Blog – The Double Helix
Many things we use nowadays were once undiscovered, electronic devices, transportation, and buildings, these were all new discovery. One of the most important aspects of discovery is knowledge, which includes science. In the book The Double Helix, it narrates in a personal aspect from James D. Watson of the discovery of DNA. Starting from the entrance to Cambridge University, then to work with Crick, then to finding DNA structure. It showed the theme of new discovery never comes without hard working and multiple attempts including failures. Another theme is that in the nineteen hundreds, women scientists did not get recognized by people, and were often limited to things that were easy and simple.
During the process, there were many steps that led to the discovery of DNA, it includes gathering basic data, creating a hypothesis, analyzing them, and finally, there is the result. From our knowledge today we know that DNA is a double helix structure (DNA: more info.), but back then, they didn’t know anything about DNA, during the step of hypothesis with the help of Rosalind, they thought the DNA structure was a three-sided helix. But with the collaboration and teamwork with Crick, eventually, they had found out how DNA is structured and how it works. While being proved correct. They worked collaboratively and fixing minor mistakes over and over again. It is hard to find out something that you don’t know, therefore, multiple attempts were taken over and over again to reach the actual structure. “Our spirits slowly went up, for it Pauling had found a really exciting answer the secret could not be kept long.” To Watson and Crick, or maybe more scientist in the same area, Pauling was a really strong competitor, because of an A – helical structure that he published. Pauling was the motive that made Crick and Watson work harder with more efficiency. The time they published their results, they were still afraid that something was wrong.
The other theme is about Rosalind Franklin, she was an extremely intelligent scientist, in Watson’s account during the discovery, much helpful information had been collected from Rosaland’s report. Also, she helped Watson in the discovery of DNA. But she wanted to do her research on actual biology topics, but Maurice had been negative about that, “slowly and precisely he detailed how, in spite of much elaborate crystallographic analysis, little real progress had been made by Rosy since the day she arrived at Kings.” Complaining how she did not do the tasks that Maurice wanted her to focus on. Also, later when this book Double Helix was published, people did not recognize her work in discovering DNA just because of the thought that women should not be doing lab and science. (More about her)
Even though The Double Helix was a book written in a personal account, but it still showed clear themes that caused them in the success of discovering DNA. It was the hard working and collaboration skills that pursued there goal.
Site for quotes
Watson, James D. The double helix: a personal account of the discovery of the structure of DNA. Phoenix, 2011.
“What Is DNA? – Genetics Home Reference.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/basics/dna.
“Rosalind Franklin.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 27 Feb. 2018, www.biography.com/people/rosalind-franklin-9301344.