James Watson Facts

James Watson Facts
James Dewey Watson (April 6, 1928) is an American molecular biologist, geneticist and zoologist. He shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the structure of DNA in 1953 with Francis Crick. The Nobel Prize was awarded "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and it significance for information transfer in living materials."
Interesting James Watson Facts:
James Dewey Watson was born in Chicago, Illinois and was the only son of James D Watson, a businessman.
He attended public school in Chicago and he made an appearance on the popular radio show, Quiz Kids, which challenged bright children to answer questions.
At the young age of 15 he received a scholarship to the University of Chicago.
Because he and his father had a deep love of bird watching he planned to major in ornithology.
In 1946 he read Schrodinger's book What Is Life? and changed his major to the study to genetics.
In 1947 he earned his B.S. in zoology and was accepted to graduate school at Indiana University.
In 1950 he earned his PhD from Indiana University.
His doctoral advisor was Salvador Luria who in 1969 earned a Nobel Prize for his work on the nature of genetic mutations.
In 1950 he went to Copenhagen University for a year of postdoctoral research.
In 1951 Linus Pauling used X-ray crystallography to formulate his model of the helix model of amino acids which greatly influenced the future work of Watson and Crick.
James Watson, Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin discovered the structure of DNA in the Cavendish Laboratory and published their findings on April 25, 1953 at the Solvay Conference on proteins in Belgium.
They submitted a paper on their findings to Nature Magazine on April 25, 1953.
This publication if considered a milestone in biology and made a fundamental change to our understanding of human life.
In 1956 Watson joined the faculty of Harvard University and continued his study of RNA and the transfer of genetic information.
His textbook, Recombinant DNA, described genetic engineering and the function of organisms and is still in print.
In 1968 he wrote The Double Helix which is number seven in the Modern Library list of 100 Best Non-Fiction Books.
In 1968 he became director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory whose mission is "exploring molecular biology and genetics in order to advance the understanding and ability to diagnose and treat cancers, neurological diseases and other causes of human suffering."
From 1990 to 1992 he was the head of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health. Francis Crick and James Watson shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1962 for their discovery but their co-researcher, Rosalind Franklin, was ineligible because the Nobel is only awarded to living scientists and she had died in 1958.

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