February 28th 1953: Watson and Crick discover DNA structure
On this day in 1953, scientists James D. Watson and Francis Crick discovered the
chemical structure of DNA. They made the discovery of the double helix
structure whilst building a cardboard model of the molecule in their
laboratory at Cambridge University. Their model of DNA was based on an
X-ray diffraction image taken by Rosalind Franklin and the fact that DNA
bases are paired. They first announced their discovery to friends and
it was not formally announced to the wider scientific community until April 25th. Watson, Crick and
Maurice Wilkins were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology
or Medicine for their discoveries. The discovery was a groundbreaking
moment for science, and lay the foundations for the research into DNA
and the investigation of human genetics.
"We have found the secret of life."
- Francis Crick