In the 1950s, people widely believed that James Watson and Francis Crick were the first scientists to discover the DNA. However, as early as 1860, Friedrich Miescher had made a breakthrough in the field of genetics with his discovery of the DNA (Marx, 14). Before Watson-Crick analysis, earlier studies of the DNA had revealed molecule’s chemical and physical structure. To comprehend on its function, the two scientists used previous analysis from other prominent researchers to determine the DNA molecules. Before 1953, the two scientists had successfully developed models illustrating all the components structure of the DNA molecule (Marx 16).
As proposed by the two scientists, the DNA molecule comprises of chains, purine and anti-parallel oriented chains. After conducting numerous analyses regarding the DNA composition, Watson and Crick suggested that all DNA molecules comprise of two chains of nucleotides. Similarly, the two scientists hypothesized that the arrangement of the two chains in a DNA molecule takes a helix form (Marx, 44). Although minor changes have resulted in the alteration of the Watson-Crick DNA model, most of its outstanding features have remained unaltered to date (Marx, 50). Some of the unchanged features of the Watson-Crick Model include the consideration that the DNA molecules are double-stranded, which implies that Ts and Cs are paired with Gs. Similarly, the molecule double helix is anti-parallel. As such, the 5 ends of the strands are paired with the 3 ends of the complementary strands (Marx, 55).
Through the Watson-Crick Model, the puzzle regarding the passage of genetic instructions from one generation to another was unraveled. Similarly, the experiment played a significant role in ensuring the government support in human genome projects (Marx, 56). In addition, the Model and its ability have enabled the manipulation of DNA molecules in biotechnology industry and modern medicine facilitating significant breakthroughs that would have otherwise remained unrealized.
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