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Goodbye Francis. You'll be missed. [Death of Francis Crick]

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  • Goodbye Francis. You'll be missed. [Death of Francis Crick]

    Man who helped unlock DNA dies

    Francis Crick, who helped discover the double helix shape of DNA along with James Watson, has died aged 88.

    Professor Crick died at Thornton Hospital in San Diego, US, where he had been battling colon cancer.

    The British-born scientist won the Nobel Prize for his work on DNA's structure, which he helped model in 1953 at the University of Cambridge.

    "I will always remember Francis for his extraordinarily focused intelligence," Professor Watson said on Thursday.

    "He treated me as though I were a member of his family. Being with him for two years in a small room in Cambridge was truly a privilege," he continued.

    "I always looked forward to being with him and speaking to him, up until the moment of his death. He will be sorely missed."

    Nobel prize

    Professor Crick was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1959, three years before he was awarded a Nobel prize. Primarily this was for his work on DNA, but also for his study of the structure of proteins and viruses.

    Commenting on his death, Lord May of Oxford, the President of the Royal Society, said: "We are all greatly saddened to learn of the death today of Francis Crick, who was known worldwide for his contribution to discovering the structure of DNA, which earned him a share of a Nobel prize in 1962."

    Research undertaken by Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin paved the way for Francis Crick and James Watson's famous discovery.


    Professor's Crick's death comes one year after the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA.

    "Just last year we were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication in the journal 'Nature' of his landmark scientific paper, written with James Watson, which described the correct double helix structure of DNA for the first time," said Lord May.


    Unassuming words

    It is now one of the most famous scientific papers of all time, but began with an unassuming pair of sentences: "We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest."

    Lord May continued: "Francis Crick made an enormous contribution to science and his discoveries helped to usher in a golden age of molecular biology.

    "His death is a sad loss to science and our thoughts are with his family and colleagues."

    I will always remember Francis for his extraordinarily focused intelligence

    James Watson

    Professor Crick was born in Northampton in the UK but had been living in La Jolla, California, US. He was a distinguished research professor and former president of the Salk Institute in San Diego.

    "Francis Crick will be remembered as one of the most brilliant and influential scientists of all time," said Richard Murphy, the Salk Institute's president and chief executive officer.

    Dr Matt Ridley, author of Genome and Nature Vs Nurture said: "Francis Crick made not one but many great scientific discoveries.

    "He found that genes are digital codes written on DNA molecules, he found that the code is written in three-letter words and he was instrumental in cracking the code.

    "Any one of those things would have got him into the scientific pantheon. Discovering all three places him alongside Newton, Darwin and Einstein."



    Francis Crick co-discovered the double-helix with James Watson





    I was lucky enough to have had dinner with the man one evening, as well as having the honor of signing one of his get-well cards a few years back. I worked at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies when he was president of the organization. He was always kind and gracious.

    Francis Crick was a pioneer in the field of research. Dr. Crick and Watson's discovery is one of the most influential of our times. He will be missed.
    \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

    \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

  • #2
    And so many people have probably never heard of him...

    Thanks for all your dedication, Professor Crick. Your efforts were always for the good of manlind. We need more scientists like you.
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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    • #3
      Having worked at The Salk,
      I am lucky enough to have a real memory
      of him alive and trudging along, cane in hand,
      to his office.

      Rest easy, Francis, we'll all
      meet up again later
      saludos!
      \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
      Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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