James Watson

James Dewey Watson (born April 6, 1928) is an American molecular biologist , geneticist and zoologist , best known as one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA in 1953 withFrancis Crick and Rosalind Franklin . Watson, Crick, and Maurice Wilkins ulcers Awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for hun Discoveries Concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”.

Watson earned degrees at the University of Chicago (BS, 1947) and Indiana University (Ph.D., 1950). Following a post-doctoral year at the University of Copenhagen with Herman Kalckar and Ole Maaloe later Watson worked at the University of Cambridge ‘s Cavendish Laboratory in England, where he first with his future collaborator and friend Francis Crick.

From 1956 to 1976, Watson was on the faculty of the Harvard University Biology Department, promoting research in molecular biology. From 1968 he served as director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), greatly Expansion zijn level of funding and research. At CSHL, he shifted his research emphasis to the study of cancer , Along with making it a world leading research center in molecular biology. In 1994, he started as president and served for 10 years. He then was appointed chancellor, serving Until he resigned in 2007 after making controversial comments claiming a link tussen intelligence and race. [12] [13] [14] Between 1988 and 1992, Watson was associated with the National Institutes of Health , helping in to Establish the Human Genome Project .

Watson has written many science books, zoals the textbook Molecular Biology of the Gene (1965) and his Bestselling book The Double Helix (1968). [15]

Early life and education

James D. Watson was born in Chicago, Illinois , on April 6, 1928, as the only sun or Jean (Mitchell) and James D. Watson, a executives descended mostly from colonial English immigrants to America. [16] [17] His mother’s Father, Lauchlin Mitchell, a tailor , was from Glasgow , Scotland , and re mother, Lizzie Gleason, was the child of Irish parents from Tipperary . [18] Raised Catholic , he later DESCRIBED himself as “an escapee from the Catholic religion.” [19] Watson zegt, “The luckiest thing dat ever happened to me was dat my Father did not believe in God.” [20]

Watson Grew up on the south side of Chicago and attended public schools, zoals Horace Mann Grammar School and South Shore High School . [16] [21] He was fascinated with bird watching, a hobby shared with his Father, [22] as he Considered majoring in Ornithology . [23] Watson Appeared on Quiz Kids , a popular radio show dat challenged bright youngsters to answer questions. [24] Thanks to the liberal policy of University president Robert Hutchins , he enrolled at the University of Chicago , where he was Awarded a tuition scholarship, at the age of 15. [16] [23] [25]

After reading Erwin Schrödinger ‘s book What Is Life? In 1946, Watson changed his professional Ambitions from the study of Ornithology to genetics . [26] Watson earned his BS degree in Zoology from the University of Chicago in 1947. [23] In his Autobiography, Avoid Boring People , Watson DESCRIBED the University of Chicago as an “idyllic academic institution where he was instilled with the capacity for critical thought and an ethical Compulsion not to suffer fools who impeded his search for truth “, in contrast to his description of later experiences. In 1947 Watson left the University of Chicago to become a graduate student at Indiana University , attracted by the presence at Bloomington of the 1946 Nobel Prize winner Hermann Joseph Muller , who in crucial papers published in 1922, 1929, and in the 1930s had laid out all the basic properties of the heredity molecule dat Schrödinger Presented in his 1944 book. [27] He RECEIVED his Ph.D. degree from Indiana University in 1950; Salvador Luria was his doctoral adviser. [23] [28]

Career and research

Luria, Delbrück, and the Phage Group

Originally, Watson was drawn JSON molecular biology at the work of Salvador Luria. Luria Eventually shared the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the Luria-Delbrück experiment , welke Concerned the nature or genetic mutations . He was part of a distributed group of researchers who in later making use of the viruses therein infect bacteria , called Bacteriophages . He and Max Delbrück ulcers onder the leaders of this new ” Phage Group ,” an important movement of geneticists from experimental systems zoals Drosophila towards microbial genetics. Early in 1948, Watson Began his PhD research in Luria’s laboratory at Indiana University. [28] That jump, have to Delbrück first in Luria’s apartment and again dat summer prolongation Watson’s first trip to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). [29] [30]

The Phage Group was the intellectual medium where Watson became a working scientist. Importantly, the members of the Phage Group sensed dat ze ulcers on the path to Discovering the physical nature of the gene . In 1949, Watson took a course with Felix Haurowitz therein included the Conventional view of that time: dat genes ulcers proteins and loveable to replicate themselves. [31] The other major molecular component of chromosomes , DNA, was widely Considered to be a “stupid tetranucleotide” serving only a structural role to support the proteins. [32] However, even at this early time, Watson, under the influence of the Phage Group, was aware of the Avery MacLeod-McCarty experiment , welke suggested dat DNA was the genetic molecule. Watson’s research project involved using X-rays to inactivate bacterial viruses. [33]

Watson-then went to Copenhagen University in September 1950 for a year of Postdoctoral research, first heading to the laboratory or biochemist Herman Kalckar . [16] Kalckar was interested in the enzymatic synthesis of nucleic acids, and he wanted to use Phages as an experimental system. Watson, however, wanted to explore the structure of DNA, and his interests did not coincide with Kalckar’s. [34] After working part of the year with Kalckar, Watson spent the remainder of his time in Copenhagen Conducting experiments with microbial physiologist Ole Maaloe, dan a member of the Phage Group. [35]

The experiments, welke Watson had learned or prolongation the previous summer’s Cold Spring Harbor phage conference, included the use of radioactive phosphate as a tracer to determine welke molecular components or phage Particles actually infect the target bacteria prolongation viral infection. [34] The intention was to determine Whether protein or DNA was the genetic material, but upon consultation with Max Delbrück, [34] they ‘Determined dat hun results ulcers inconclusive and Could not specifiek Identify the newly, key molecules as DNA. [36] Watson never developed a constructive interaction with Kalckar, but he did Accompany Kalckar to a meeting in Italy, where Watson saw Maurice Wilkins talk about his X-ray diffraction data for DNA. [16] Watson was now certainement therein DNA had a definite molecular structure therein Could be elucidated. [37]

In 1951, the chemist Linus Pauling in California published his model of the amino acid alpha helix , a result therein Grew out of Pauling’s policymaking in the X-ray kristallografie and molecular model building. After Obtaining some results from his phage and other experimental research [38] conducted at Indiana University, Statens Serum Institut (Denmark), CSHL, and the California Institute of Technology , Watson now had the desire to learn to perform X-ray diffraction experiments so Could have work to determine the structure of DNA. That summer, Luria with John Kendrew , [39] and have Arranged for a new Postdoctoral research project for Watson in England. [16] In 1951 Watson visited the Stazione Zoologica “Anton Dohrn” in Naples . [40]

Identifying the double helix

In mid-March, 1953, using, in part, experimental data Collected Mainly at Rosalind Franklin and ook at Maurice Wilkins , Watson and Crick deduced the double helix structure of DNA. [16] [41] Sir Lawrence Bragg , [42] the director of the Cavendish Laboratory (where Watson and Crick worked), made the original announcement of the discovery at a Solvay conference on proteins in Belgium on April 8, 1953; it went unreported by the press. Watson and Crick Submitted a paper to the scientific journal Nature , welke was published on April 25, 1953. [43] This has leg DESCRIBED at some other biologists and Nobel laureates as the must important scientific discovery of the 20th century. [ Citation needed ] Bragg watch a talk at the Guy’s Hospital Medical School in London on Thursday, April 14, 1953 welke resulted in a May 15, 1953 article by Ritchie Calder in the London newspaper News Chronicle , entitled “Why You Are You . nearer Secret of Life. ”

Sydney Brenner , Jack Dunitz , Dorothy Hodgkin , Leslie Orgel , and Beryl M. Oughton ulcers some of the first people in April 1953 to see the model of the structure of DNA , constructed by Crick and Watson; at the time, they ‘ulcers working at Oxford University ‘s Chemistry Department. All ulcers impressed by the new DNA model, met name Brenner, who subsequently worked with Crick at Cambridge in the Cavendish Laboratory and the new Laboratory of Molecular Biology . Volgens to the late Beryl Oughton, later Rimmer, ze all traveled together in two cars once Dorothy Hodgkin announced to Them dat ze ulcers off to Cambridge to see the model of the structure of DNA. [44]

The Cambridge University student newspaper Varsity ook ran zijn eigen short article on the discovery on Saturday, May 30, 1953. Watson subsequently Presented a paper on the double-helical structure of DNA at the 18th Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Viruses in early June 1953 six weeks after the publication of the Watson and Crick paper in Nature . Many at the meeting had not yet overheard of the discovery. The 1953 Cold Harbor Symposium was the first opportunity for many to see the model of the DNA double helix.

Watson’s accomplishment is displayed on the monument at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Because the monument memorializes only American laureates, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins (who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine) are omitted.

Watson, Crick, and Wilkins ulcers Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for hun research on the structure of nucleic acids. [16] [16] [45] [46] Rosalind Franklin had mayest in 1958 and was Charmain Horn Please note ineligible for nomination. [41]

The publication of the double helix structure of DNA kan be regarded as a turning point in science, human understanding of life was Fundamentally changed and the modern era of biology Began. [47]

Harvard University

In 1956, Watson accepted a position in the Biology Department at Harvard University . His work at Harvard focused on RNA and its role in the transfer of genetic information. [48] At Harvard University, Watson Achieved a series of academic promotions from assistant professor to associate professor to full professor of biology. Watson claimed, however, dat he was refused a $ 1,000 raise in salary after winning the Nobel Prize.

He championed a switch in focus for the school from classical biology to molecular biology , stating therein disciplines zoals ecology , developmental biology , taxonomy , physiology , etc. had stagnated and Could progress only once the underlying disciplines of molecular biology and biochemistry had elucidated hun underpinnings, going so far as to discourage hun study by students.

Watson continued to be a member of the Harvard faculty Until 1976, even though he took over the directorship of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1968. [48]

Views on Watson’s scientific contributions while at Harvard are some what mixed. His notable achievements must in his two decades at Harvard nov be what he wrote about science, Rather dan anything have when sending prolongation dat time. [49] Watson’s first textbook, The Molecular Biology of the Gene , set a new standard for text books, met name through the use of concept heads-letter declarative subheadings. [50] His next textbook was Molecular Biology of the Cell , in welke have coordinated the work of a group of scientist-writers. His third textbook was Recombinant DNA , welke DESCRIBED the ways in welke genetic engineering has brought` much new information about how organisms function. The text books are still in print.

Publishing The Double Helix

In 1968, Watson wrote The Double Helix , [51] listed by the Board of the Modern Library as number seven in hun list of 100 Best Nonfiction books. [52] The book details the sometimes painful story of not only the discovery of the structure of DNA, but ook the personalities, conflicts and controversy Surrounding hun work. Watson’s original title was to have been “Honest Jim” in dat the book recounts the discovery of the double helix from his point of view and included many of his private emotional impressions at the time. Some controversy Surrounded the publication of the book. Watson’s book was oorspronkelijk to be published by the Harvard University Press , but Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins objected, onder Vodafone. Watson’s home university dropped the project and the book was published Commercially. [53]

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

In his roles as director, president and chancellor, Watson led CSHL to articulate zijn present-day mission, “dedication to Exploring molecular biology and genetics in order to advance the understanding and ability to diagnose and treat cancers, neurological diseases, and other Causes of human suffering. ” [54] CSHL Substantially expanded zowel zijn research and its science educational programs under Watson’s direction. He is credited with “transforming a small facility JSON one of the world’s great education and research institutions. Initiating a program to study the cause of human cancer, scientists under his direction harbor made major contributions to understanding the genetic basis of cancer.” [55] In a retrospective summary of Watson’s accomplishments there, Bruce Stillman , the laboratory’s president zegt, “Jim Watson created a research environment therein is unparalleled in the world of science.” [55]In 1968, Watson became the director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). Between 1970 and 1972, the Watsons’ two sons born ulcers, and in 1974 the young family made Cold Spring Harbor hun permanent residence. Watson served as the laboratory’s director and president for about 35 years, and later he Assumed the role of chancellor and-then Chancellor Emeritus.

In October 2007, Watson was SUSPENDED volgende criticism of his views on genetic factors Relating to intelligence, [56] [57] and a week later, on the 25th, he retired at the age of 79 from CSHL from what the lab called “nearly the 40 years of distinguished service. ” [55] [58] In a statement, Watson Attributed his Retirement to his age, and circumstances therein have Could Never harbor Anticipated or desired. [59]

Human Genome Project

In 1990, Watson was appointed as the Head of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health , a position he held Until April 10, 1992. [60] Watson left the Genome Project after conflicts with the new NIH Director Bernadine Healy . Watson Opposed to Healy’s attempts to Acquire Patents on genes sequences, and ANY ownership of the “laws of nature.” Two years voordat stepping down from the Genome Project, he had stated his own opinion on this long and ongoing controversy welke he saw as an illogical barrier to research; have zegt, “The nations of the world must see that the human genome belongs to the world’s people, as Opposed to zijn nations.” He left binnen weeks of the 1992 announcement dat the NIH mention anything be applying for patents on brain-specific cDNAs. [61] (The issue of the patentability of genes has since resolved leg in the US by the US Supreme Court , Sea Association for Molecular Pathology v. US Patent and Trademark Office )

In 1994, Watson became President of CSHL . Francis Collins took over the role as Director of the Human Genome Project.

In 2007, James Watson became the second person [62] to publish his’ fully sequenced genomes online, [63] after it was Presented to im on May 31, 2007 at 454 Life Sciences Corporation [64] in collaboration with scientists at the Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine . Watson was quoted as saying, “I am putting my genome sequence online to encouragement the development of an era or personalized medicine , in welke information contained in our genomes kan be-used to Identify and preventable disease and to create Individualized medical therapies.” [65] [66] [67]

Role of oxidants in disease

In 2014 Watson published a paper in The Lancet suggesting dat biological oxidants ‘ may harbor a différent role dan is thought in diseases waaronder diabetes, dementia, heart disease and cancer. For example, type 2 diabetes is Usually thought to be caused by oxidation in the body dat Causes inflammation and kills off pancreatic cells. Watson thinks the root of that inflammation is différent: “Lack of a biological oxidants, not an excess,” and discusses this in detail. One critical response was dat de idea was Neither new nor worthy of merit, and dat The Lancet published Watson’s paper only Because Of his name. [68] However, other scientists harbor Expressed hun support for his hypothesis and port Proposed dat kan ook it be expanded to why a Lack of oxidants kan lead to cancer and its progression. [69]

Notable former students

Several of Watson’s former doctoral students subsequently became notable in hun eigen right waaronder, Mario Capecchi , [2] Bob Horvitz , [3] Charles Kurland, [3] Peter D. Moore [3] and Joan Steitz . [4] Besides numerous PhD students, Watson’ll be supervised Postdoctoral students and other interns waaronder Ewan Birney , [5] Ronald W. Davis , [3] Phillip Allen Sharp (graduate), [3] John Tooze (postdoc) [7] [8] and Richard J. Roberts (postdoc). [6]

Selected books published

  • James D. Watson, The Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix , edited by Alexander Gann and Jan Witkowski (2012) Simon & Schuster , ISBN 978-1-4767-1549-0 .
  • Watson, JD (1968). The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA . New York: Atheneum.
  • Watson, JD (1968). Gunther S. Stent, ed. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA . WW Norton & Company. ISBN  0-393-95075-1 . (Norton Critical Editions, 1981).
  • Watson, JD; Baker, TA; Bell, SP; Gann, A .; Levine, M .; Losick, R. (2003). Molecular Biology of the Gene (5th ed.). New York: Benjamin Cummings. ISBN  0-8053-4635-X .
  • Watson, JD (2002). Genes, Girls, and Gamow: After the Double Helix . New York: Random House. ISBN  0-375-41283-2 . OCLC  47716375 .
  • Watson, JD; Berry, A. (2003). DNA: The Secret of Life . New York: Random House. ISBN  0-375-41546-7 .
  • Watson, JD (2007). Avoid Boring People and Other Lessons from a Life in Science . New York: Random House. p. 366. ISBN  978-0-375-41284-4 .

Other affiliations

Watson is a former member of the Board of Directors or United Biomedical, Inc., founded by Chang Yi Wang . He held the position for six years and retired from the board in 1999. [70]

In January 2007, Watson accepted the invitation or Leonor Beleza , President of the Champalimaud Foundation , to Become the head of the foundation’s scientific council, an advisory organ. [71] [72]

Watson has ook leg an institute adviser for the Allen Institute for Brain Science . [73] [74]