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The chemical structure of DNA II – Genes – the units of inheritance (4/10)

The breakthrough was in 1953, thanks to Cambridge scientists, Francis Crick and James Watson, in the most celebrated research of the 20th century. Using the x-ray pictures of DNA, taken by Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, they struggled to make the data about the spaces between the atoms fit into a structure that made sense. […]

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The chemical structure of DNA I – Genes – the units of inheritance (3/10)

This is Tübingen in southern Germany. Its castle was the unlikely setting for a breakthrough in molecular biology. Friedrich Miescher was a young researcher stationed at the laboratory here. On the advice of his uncle, he studied the cell nucleus. His experimental material was white blood cells taken from the pus-soaked bandages of wounded soldiers […]

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The chemical structure of DNA III – Genes – the units of inheritance (5/10)

If you’re going to build anything complicated, you need some sort of plan, a blueprint, a set of instructions. Now that’s just as true of living cells as anything else. But they contain the instructions within themselves. They’re inherited. They’re copied and passed on from generation of cell to generation of cell. Now what we’re […]

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Genes – the units of inheritance: conclusion (10/10)

That’s just about it. We’ve looked at the structure of DNA, how DNA is replicated and how the information in DNA is utilised to make proteins. But underneath all of that I think there’s one principle that really helps tie things together. And that’s the principle of base pairing. We’ve seen how base pairing helps […]

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