Francis Harry Compton Crick, the greatest biological scientist.

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Early years:

Francis Harry Compton Crick was born on June 8th, 1916, at Northampton, England. His father owned a shoe shop. Their business failed after world war. They moved to London where they opened many new shops and prospered greatly. Francis had a brother. Crick was educated at the Mill Hill School, London. He studied physics at University College, London, obtained a B.Sc. in 1937. He started research for a Ph.D. under Prof E. N. da C. Andrade, but this was interrupted by the outbreak of war in 1939. He left in 1947 to study biology.

What he accomplished/ achieved:

Supported by a studentship from the Medical Research Council and with some financial help from his family, Crick went to Cambridge and worked at the Strangeways Research Laboratory. In 1949 he joined the Medical Research Council Unit headed by M. F. Pruzse of which he has been a member ever since. This Unit was for many years housed in the Laboratory at Cambridge, but in 1962 moved into a large new building - the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology. He became a research student for the second time in 1950, being accepted as a member of Caius College Cambridge, and obtained a Ph.D. During the year 1953-1954 Crick was on leave of absence at the Protein Structure Project of the Brooklyn Polytechnic in Brooklyn, New York. He has also lectured at Harvard, as a Visiting Professor, on two occasions, and has visited other laboratories in the States for short periods. In 1947 Crick knew no biology and practically no organic chemistry or crystallography, so that much of the next few years were spent in learning the elements of these subjects. He worked out the general theory of X-ray diffraction by a helix. A critical influence in Crick's career was his friendship, beginning in 1951, with j. d. Watson, then a young man of 23, leading in 1953 to the proposal of the double-helical structure for DNA and the replication scheme. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962 was awarded jointly to Francis Harry Compton Crick, James Dewey Watson and Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins. In 1940 Crick married Ruth Doreen Dodd. Their son, Michael F. C. Crick is a scientist. They divorced. In 1949 Crick married Odile Speed. They have two daughters, Gabrielle A. Crick and Jacqueline M. T. Crick. He died on the 28 of July 2004 in San Diego, California, U.S the cause was colon cancer.

What is DNA?

DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA).We all know that elephants only give birth to little elephants, giraffes to giraffes, dogs to dogs and so on for every type of living creature. But why is this so? The answer lies in DNA, which contains the biological instructions that make each species unique. DNA, along with the instructions it contains, is passed from adult organisms to their offspring during reproduction. During DNA replication, DNA unwinds so it can be copied. Researchers refer to DNA found in the cell's nucleus as nuclear DNA. An organism's complete set of nuclear DNA is called its genome. In reproduction, organisms inherit half of their nuclear DNA from the male parent and half from the female parent. However, organisms inherit their entire mitochondrial DNA from the female parent. This occurs because only egg cells, and not sperm cells, keep their mitochondria during fertilization. That is what DNA is!

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  • Francis Harry Compton Crick." Britannica School. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 20 Sep. 2013>.
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  • Manger, Lois N.” Francis Harry Compton Crick.” Science and Its Times. Vol.7. Detroit: Gale, 2000. Print.

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