Letter from James D. Watson to Francis Crick


Title:
Letter from James D. Watson to Francis Crick
Creator:
Watson, James D., 1928-
Recipient:
Crick, Francis, 1916-2004
Date:
22 November 1954
Description:
Upon his return to the United States in the summer of 1953 Watson took up the study of RNA (ribonucleic acid), which as the single-stranded companion molecule to DNA and the intermediary in protein synthesis held obvious interest for him and Crick. Watson's studies resulted in the hypothesis that DNA made RNA, and that RNA made proteins.. Watson mentioned the difficulties he was facing in his "current attempt to make protein on N.A. [nucleic acid] surfaces" (p.2), an attempt made in response to George Gamow's idea, later proved incorrect, that DNA could provide a direct, physical template for the twenty amino acids that form the polypeptide chains of which proteins are made up. Despite these difficulties, Watson stated that "[n]evertheless we persist and think we shall find a code" (p.2) for protein synthesis.
Original Repository:
The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
Location:
Box: 26. Folder: PP/CRI/D/2/45
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of James D. Watson.
Genre:
Letters (correspondence)
Subject:
RNA and DNA
Format:
Text
Extent:
4 pages
Language:
English
Legacy Source Citation:
Original Repository. Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers. 11646. URL. http://archives.wellcome.ac.uk/
Legacy ID:
SCBBJP
NLM ID:
101584582X120
Profiles Collection:
The Francis Crick Papers
Story Section:
Defining the Genetic Coding Problem, 1954-1957