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James Watson and Francis Crick with their DNA double helix model, 1953

Photo credit: A. Barrington Brown/Science Photo Library

The discovery, announced by Chargaff in 1950, was of crucial importance in constructing the Watson–Crick model of DNA. James Watson and Francis Crick, working together at Cambridge University in England, assimilated all this information along with the help of Maurice Wilkins and expert X-ray crystallography images prepared by Rosalind Franklin, both of King’s College in London. In 1953 Watson and Crick came up with their historic model of the shape of DNA: the double helix. Identifying the shape of DNA was a major breakthrough in genetic research, for which Watson, Crick, and Wilkins won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.


James Watson, Francis Crick, DNA


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