"DNA normally forms a right-handed spiral (although a rare left-handed variant can
occur). In other words, it twists like a conventional screw. That, though, has not
stopped it being reproduced wrongly in hundreds of places. Dr. Tom Schneider has a
website where he has collected hundreds of examples of incorrectly drawn 'left-handed
DNA', most being found in scientific journals. Many are in advertisements, so we may
perhaps charitably suggest the final copy was never seen by a scientist, but that
doesn't quite explain them all. Certainly not the editorial comment in Nature, the place where DNA's structure was first described, which in 2000 mentioned the
clues that 'led Watson and Crick to deduce the left-handed double helical structure
of DNA.' Watson, in fact, has been particularly badly served, his 1978 textbook, Molecular Biology of the Gene, having six different illustrations with left-handed DNA, and in 1990 the American
journal Science quoting Watson as saying, 'I have to read SCIENCE every week,' this being illustrated with left-handed DNA. Perhaps worst of all, a
1998 reprint of Watson's The Double Helix was illustrated on the front and back with left-handed DNA. Perhaps it is not a coincidence
that Watson is left-handed."
Chris McManus. Chris McManus, in Right Hand, Left Hand: The Origins of Asymmetry in Brains, Bodies, Atoms and Cultures. 2002.
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