Dna And Dna Is Responsible For Containing Genetic Information On Living Organisms And Viruses

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Leah Jaron
LAIS 370
Professor Miller
24 April 2014
Rosalind Franklin and DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is the molecule that is responsible for containing genetic information in living organisms and viruses. As Olby concisely describes, DNA was first discovered by Fritz Miescher, who found a substance in the nucleus of a cell that he named “nuclein” in 1869 (xix). From there, in 1919, Phoebus Levene researched this substance, and discovered that nucleins were more accurately described by the term, nucleic acids. Levene also discovered that DNA contains nucleobases- adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine- as well as a phosphate group and deoxyribose. Levene thought that these bases had a fixed order (77). Then, in 1927, Nikolai Koltsov proposed the function of DNA- that it contains inherited traits and can duplicate because it has two main backbones, one of which is used as a template for this duplication (117). The next step in understanding this new particle was to figure out its structure. William Astbury was the first to produce x-ray diffraction images of DNA and proposed a structure of DNA, where the base was a spring-like shape that contained the nucleobases in the loops (66). In the early 1950s, Pauling and Corey proposed a triple-stranded DNA structure, and Fraser proposed a triple helix structure. James Watson and Francis Crick, the two scientists known for discovering the double helix structure of DNA, first met in 1951 at the Cavendish Laboratory of
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