Watson , James Dewey
(1928–) American biochemist
Watson entered the university in his native city of Chicago at the early age of 15, graduating in 1947. He obtained his PhD (1950) for studies of viruses at the University of Indiana and continued this work at the University of Copenhagen. In Copenhagen he realized that one of the major unsolved problems of biology lay in identifying the structure of the nucleic-acid molecules making up chromosomes. In 1951 he moved to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England, to study the structure of DNA.
Early in 1953 Watson and Francis Crick published a molecular structure of DNA having two cross-linked helical chains (General Implications of the Structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid). They arrived at this by considering possible geometric models, which they based on two independent sets of experimental work: the x-ray crystallography of Maurice Wilkinsand Rosalind Franklin at King's College, London, and the earlier work of Ernst Chargaff, which had established the relative quantities of the organic bases present in the nucleic acids. Watson and Crick were able to show that certain organic bases linked the chains together by hydrogen bonds.
The model explains the three basic characteristics of heredity. It shows how genetic information can be expressed in the form of a chemical code; it demonstrates the way in which genes replicate themselves – when the two chains separate each can serve as a template for the synthesis of a new chain; and finally it provides an explanation of how mutations occur in genes, in terms of changes in the chemical structure of DNA. Watson, Crick, and Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for this work in 1962.
Watson left Cambridge in 1953 for the California Institute of Technology. From 1955 to 1968 he worked at Harvard, becoming professor of biology in 1961. Here he continued to study the genetic code. In 1968 he became director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, where he concentrated effort on cancer research. The same year he published The Double Helix, an informal, highly personal, and somewhat controversial account of the discovery of the structure of DNA. He retired in 1993.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Watson,James Dewey — Wat·son (wŏtʹsən), James Dewey. Born 1928. American biologist who with Francis Crick proposed a spiral model, the double helix, for the molecular structure of DNA. He shared a 1962 Nobel Prize for advances in the study of genetics. * * * …   Universalium

  • Watson, James Dewey — ▪ American geneticist and biophysicist born April 6, 1928, Chicago, Ill., U.S.    American geneticist and biophysicist who played a crucial role in the discovery of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) (DNA), the substance that… …   Universalium

  • Watson, James Dewey — ► (n. 1928) Biólogo estadounidense. Fue premio Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1962, compartido con Crick y Wilkins, por precisar la estructura del ácido desoxirribonucleico …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • James Dewey Watson — James D. Watson James Dewey Watson, KBE (* 6. April 1928 in Chicago) ist ein US amerikanischer Biochemiker und Nobelpreisträger. Er entdeckte zusammen mit Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins und Rosalind Franklin die Molekularstruktur der Desoxyr …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James Dewey Watson — James D. Watson Méritos: Descubridor junto a Francis Crick y Rosalind Franklin de la estructura del ADN. Supervisor doctoral: Salvador Edward Luria Campo de investigación …   Wikipedia Español

  • James Dewey Watson — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Watson. James D. Watson Naissance 6  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • James Dewey Watson — noun United States geneticist who (with Crick in 1953) helped discover the helical structure of DNA (born in 1928) • Syn: ↑Watson, ↑James Watson • Instance Hypernyms: ↑geneticist …   Useful english dictionary

  • James Dewey Watson — ➡ Watson (II) * * * …   Universalium

  • Medizinnobelpreis 1962: Francis Harry Compton Crick — James Dewey Watson — Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins —   Die drei Forscher erhielten den Nobelpreis für ihre Entdeckungen über die Molekularstruktur der Nucleinsäuren und deren Bedeutung für die Informationsübertragung in lebender Materie.    Biografien   Francis Harry Compton Crick, * Northampton… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Watson — James Dewey …   Scientists

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