Last modified on 9 July 2007, at 07:10

Double helix


The Double helix is the structural arrangement of DNA, which looks something like an immensely long ladder twisted into a helix, or coil. The sides of the "ladder" are formed by a backbone of sugar and phosphate molecules, and the "rungs" consist of nucleotide bases joined weakly in the middle by hydrogen bonds.

The double helix was first published by J. D. Watson and F. H. C. Crick[1] as a consequence of an unpublished triple helix model by Pauling and Corey, and of some unpublished experimental data from Rosalind Franklin that was used without her knowledge or consent. Watson and Crick got credited for solving a fundamental mystery of life with this sentence in their double helix paper: "It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material."