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Science Saturday -- James D. Watson

Jessie, Columbine Library

James D. Watson is most famous for his work with Francis Crick to discover the structure of DNA. Watson was born today, April 6, 1928. He was declared a genius at an early age and he graduated from the University of Chicago at age nineteen. He and Crick began to investigate the molecular structure of DNA in 1952, eventually coming up with the structure known today as the "Double Helix." Watson won a Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 1962, and in 1991 he became the first director of the Human Genome Project. The Human Genome Project was an effort to map the genetic sequence of the entire genome, a project which was completed in 2006, and has huge implications for research as well as ethics. It's hard to imagine where we would be today without Watson's work and the work of countless other scientists after him. For one thing, it's possible some of my favorite science fiction books might never have been published!

The library has lots of books about thse scientists and their work, or you can check out the Science in Context database on our new Homework Help page for more information.