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"The DNA Story."

"The DNA Story." 1973.
Created by VSM Productions. Produced by Ronald Fouracre and Peter Shaw. Distributed by John Wiley & Sons, London, New York.

Watson's Early Attitude Toward DNA. (1:48)


Narrator: A young biologist who had long had an ambition to discover the nature of the gene, James Watson, was rather more sure about DNA.

James Watson: I think I thought it probably was the genetic material. I had been working in Copenhagen on the fate of the DNA during bacterial virus reproduction, and probably even from the time of graduate school it seemed like a logical molecule to think about. The Avery experiment said that genetic specificity could be carried by the DNA. You could interpret it in a variety of ways, but given your choice, I think you picked on DNA.

Narrator: Although Watson had gone to Copenhagen to learn nucleic acid chemistry, the subject bored him. DNA itself didn't loom large again until he heard a talk by Maurice Wilkins in Naples, who showed some x-ray photographs obtained from crystalline DNA.

James Watson: This was very exciting to me because when I had been in graduate school, I had read about the original 1938 work of Astbury on x-ray photographs, and this was obviously a big step forward, so it seemed like a pretty good thing to do was to do the x-ray work because it might actually tell you what the molecule was like. I mean, DNA was a word. It never meant anything as a molecule to me, and I knew it was composed of nucleotides. But again, except for an exam, I never would have learned what the formula was.


Creator: James D. Watson
Associated: Oswald Avery, Maurice Wilkins, William Astbury
Clip ID: 1973v.3-logical

Full Work

Creator: VSM Productions, Ronald Fouracre, Peter Shaw
Associated: Linus Pauling, Francis Crick, James D. Watson, Maurice Wilkins

Date: 1973
Genre: video
ID: 1973v.3
Copyright: More Information

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