Francis Crick: 10 interesting facts about the famous British scientist

One of the greatest scientists ever lived, Francis Crick’s works have completely revolutionized the world of molecular biology.

Francis Harry Compton Crick, best known as Francis Crick, was a British biophysicist, molecular biologist and neuroscientist. During World War II, he had to quit his education so that he could work in the development of magnetic mines and radar for the Admiralty Research Laboratory. When the war ended, he realized his interest in biology and started working on the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Along with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins, he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1962 for determining the double helix structure of DNA molecule.

Here, we have gathered some interesting facts about Sir Francis Crick that you probably didn’t know.

Crick was born during World War II. Both the World Wars affected him in numerous ways.

At the age of 12, he stopped visiting churches as he chose science over religious beliefs.

After graduating from University College London, Crick started his career in physics. In 1947, when he shifted from physics to biology, described it as “almost as if one had to be born again”.

His contribution to molecular biology is truly unparalleled. It is believed that Francis Crick’s knowledge about the intellectual side of molecular biology was more than anyone else on the planet.

Crick met Watson at Cavendish Laboratory in 1951. They became close friends and went on to work on the biological structure of DNA together.

While Francis Crick and James Watson worked together on DNA, it’s believed that Crick solely discovered that it requires three steps of the DNA ladder to form one amino acid. This concept is still helping all the researchers in the field of molecular biology.

Inspired by Erwin Schrödinger’s question, “How can the events of space and time which take place within the living organism be accounted for by physics and chemistry?”, Crick and Watson decided to analyze DNA structure by studying DNA with X-ray diffraction methods. As the experiment became successful, they published the result in 1953, showing the double helix structure of DNA. They also discovered that DNA can multiply and make a replica itself. This is still considered as one of the most important scientific discoveries in history.

He first used the term “central dogma” which conveys the idea that the information transferred from nucleic acids to proteins cannot ever flow back to nucleic acids.

In 1962, Crick became the director of Molecular Biology Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

He passed away on 28th July, 2004 due to colon cancer.

Sir Francis Crick’s works have been leading the development of several fields of biology all over the world.

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