About this book
In this classic, originally published 25 years ago and now reprinted with a new Afterword by the author on how he came to write the book, Judson tells the story of the birth and early development of molecular biology, in the US, the UK and France. In particular, the fascinating account of the remarkable golden period from the revelation of the double helix structure of DNA through to cracking the genetic code and solving the basic problems of how genes are regulated, is told largely in the words of the main players in the unfolding drama, all of whom were interviewed extensively by Judson in preparing this acclaimed volume.
Preface to the expanded edition by Sir John Maddox
Foreword to the expanded edition
Foreword to the first edition
Part I: DNA - Function and Structure: The elucidation of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, the genetic material
1. "He was a very remarkable fellow. Even more odd then, than later."
2. "DNA, you know, is Midas' gold. Everybody who touches it goes mad."
3. "Then they ask you, 'What is the significance of DNA for mankind, Dr. Watson?'"
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"Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid," by J.D. Watson and F.H.C. Crick. Nature, 171 (25 April 1953), pages 737-738
"Genetical Implications of the Structure of Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid," by J.D. Watson and F.H.C. Crick. Nature, 171 (30 May 1953): 964-967
On the State of Molecular Biology Early in the 1970s
4. On T.H. Morgan's deviation and the secret of life
Part II: RNA - The Functions of the Structure: The breaking of the genetic code, the discovery of the messenger
5. "The number of the beast"
6. "My mind was, that a dogma was an idea for which there was no reasonable evidence. You see?!"
7. "The gene was something in the minds of people as inaccessible as the material of the galaxies."
8. "He wasn't a member of the club."
Part III: PROTEIN - Structure and Function: The solution of how protein molecules work.
9. "As always, I was driven on by wild expectations."
10. "I have discovered the second secret of life."
CONCLUSION, 1978: "Always the same impasse"
EPILOGUE: "We can put duck and orange DNA together-with a probability of one."
AFTERWORD I: In Defense of Rosalind Franklin: The myth of the wronged heroine
AFTERWORD II: What Did Erwin Chargaff Contribute?
AFTERWORD III: Dawn of The Eighth Day