On February 28, 1953, two scientists at Cambridge University, England, James Watson and Frances Crick, announced that they had discovered the double-helix structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)—the molecule containing the human genes.
DNA was actually discovered back in 1869, but its inheritance genetics wasn’t demonstrated until 1943. This clearly illustrates the baby steps taken during the first 130 years as compared to the giant strides of the past 10 years.
Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling, suggested an incorrect model in January, 1953. This motivated Watson and Crick to enter the fray and on February 28, they learned that the structure of DNA was a double helix polymer (a spiral of two strands of DNA). Each containing a long chain of monomer nucleotides wound around each other. They discovered that DNA replicated itself by separating into individual strands each becoming the template for a new double helix.
Watson and Crick’s discovery wasn’t formally announced until April 25, 1953, following its publication in the April issue of Nature magazine. The article revolutionized the study of biology and medicine. It directly advanced pre-natal screening for disease genes, genetically engineered foods, identification of human remains and the accurate testing to convict or exonerate criminals.
The use of DNA in genealogy has advanced to a point where great strides have been made in the use of autosomal DNA to determine relationships across family lines.
Click on the video below the learn who share’s King Tut’s DNA: