James Dewey Watson(redirected from Watson, James Dewey)
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Watson, James Dewey
See his The Double Helix (1968), The DNA Story (1981, with J. Tooze), Genes, Girls, and Gamow: After the Double Helix (2002), and Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science (2007); biography by V. K. McElheny, Watson and DNA: Making a Scientific Revolution (2003); H. F. Judson, The Eighth Day of Creation (expanded ed. 1996).
Watson, James Dewey
Born Apr. 6, 1928, in Chicago. American biochemist; specialist in molecular biology. Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (1962), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1957), and the Danish Royal Academy of Sciences (1962).
Watson graduated from the University of Chicago in 1947. He did postdoctoral research at the University of Copenhagen in 1950 and 1951 and at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University from 1951 to 1953 and from 1955 to 1956; he was a senior research fellow at the California Institute of Technology from 1953 to 1955. Watson began teaching biology at Harvard University in 1956, becoming a professor in 1961. In 1961 he became a science adviser to the president of the United States. In 1968 he became director of the laboratory of quantitative biology in Cold Spring Harbor in New York.
Watson’s main work deals with the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and the role of ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the biosynthesis of protein. In 1953, together with F. H. C. Crick, Watson proposed a model for the spatial structure of DNA (the double helix); the model made it possible to explain how genetic information is coded in the DNA molecule and to advance the hypothesis of the mechanism of the molecule’s self-reproduction (replication). This work was the foundation of the new field of molecular genetics. Watson and Crick also proposed the hypothesis of semiconservative replication. Watson is also known for his work on the structure of viruses and on the role of viruses in the growth of malignant tissue. Watson was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1962 (together with Crick and M. H. F. Wilkins).
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Molekuliarnaia biologiia gena. Moscow, 1978.
Dvoinaia spiral’. Moscow, 1969.
IA. A. PARNES