James Dewey Watson
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Occupation(s)
Biologist- One who studies life.
Geneticist- One who studies the genes of the human body.
Zoologist- One who studies animals.

Birth
James Watson was born on April 6, 1928.

Place of Birth
James Watson was born in Chicago, IL.
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Known for
James Watson is best known as the co-discoverer of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the substance that is the basis of heredity.

Science Explained
23 year old James Watson partnered with Francis Crick to conduct biomolecular research at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University in Europe in 1951. Watson discovered that there are four organic bases, which are the essential DNA components. These bases had to be linked in definite pairs. This discovery was the key factor that enabled Watson and Crick to create a molecular model for DNA, a double helix, which can be compared to a spiraling staircase.
Watson and Crick’s model also shows how the DNA molecule could multiply itself. The two strands of DNA separate themselves during cell division, and each strand builds another one just like the old one. This leads to the reproduction of DNA. Thus, it became known how genes, and eventually chromosomes, duplicate themselves.

Career
1947- Graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelor of philosophy degree and a bachelor of science degree
1950- Received a Ph.D. in zoology
1951-1953- Worked at the Cavendish Laboratory in the University of Cambrige with Francis Crick
1953- Watson and Crick published their discovery of the double helix in two papers in the British journal Nature in April–May 1953
1955-1976 - Taught at Harvard University
1961–1976 - Served as the professor of biology
1962- Shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins
1965- Published Molecular Biology of the Gene
1968- Published The Double Helix, an informal, personal account of the discovery of DNA and the roles of the people involved in it, which aroused some controversy
1968 - Watson assumed the leadership of the Laboratory of Quantitative Biology at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York, and made it a world center for research in molecular biology
1988 - 1992 - Watson helped direct the Human Genome Project, at the National Institutes of Health. It was a project to map and decode all the genes in the human chromosomes, but he eventually resigned because of presumed conflicts of interest involving his investments in private biotechnology companies
2007- Watson’s own genome was sequenced and made publicly available on the Internet
2007- Known for making comments which caused controversy, James Watson retired after making some comments which led to a huge uproar

Did you know
  • James Watson is still alive today, and is 85 years old!
  • When James Watson was a boy, he thought that manners were terrible, as they could hide the truth.
  • Watson’s intelligence was clear in his early life, and the famous biologist Paul Weiss, an instructor at Chicago, recalled that "he never took any notes and yet at the end of the course he came top of the class."
  • The discovery of the double helix is considered to be the most important biological advance of the 20th century!
  • James Watson was described as a "brash, bitter-tongued biologist" by many people.
  • When James Watson entered the University of Chicago, he was only 15 years old!

References
Edelson, Edward. Francis Crick and James Watson and the Building Blocks of Life. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1998. Print.

Google Maps. “Chicago, IL.” Google. Google Maps, 2013. Web. 19 September 2013.

"James Dewey Watson". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 18 Sep. 2013.
<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/637603/James-Dewey-Watson>

Newton, David E. James Watson and Francis Crick Discovery of the Double Helix and Beyond. New York:New York Facts on File, 1992. Print.