By Kersten T. Hall

Sir Isaac Newton as soon as declared that his momentous discoveries have been purely made due to having 'stood at the shoulders of giants'. an analogous may additionally be acknowledged of the scientists James Watson and Francis Crick. Their discovery of the constitution of DNA was once, definitely, one of many greatest medical landmarks in background and, thank you mostly to the luck of Watson's best-selling memoir 'The Double Helix', there may appear to be little new to claim approximately this tale.

But a lot continues to be stated concerning the specific 'giants' on whose shoulders Watson and Crick stood. of those, the crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, whose recognized X-ray diffraction photo often called 'Photo fifty one' supplied Watson and Crick with an important clue, is now good recognized. some distance much less popular is the physicist William T. Astbury who, operating at Leeds within the Nineteen Thirties at the constitution of wool for the neighborhood fabric undefined, pioneered using X-ray crystallography to check organic fibres. In so doing, he not just made the first actual experiences of the constitution of DNA culminating in a photograph virtually just like Franklin's 'Photo 51', but additionally based the hot technological know-how of 'molecular biology'.

Yet while Watson and Crick gained the Nobel Prize, Astbury has mostly been forgotten. The guy within the Monkeynut Coat tells the tale of this missed pioneer, displaying not just the way it used to be due to him that Watson and Crick weren't left empty-handed, but in addition how his rules reworked biology leaving a legacy that's nonetheless felt today.

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