Published by the Folio Society, London (2010). The discovery in 1953 by James Watson and Francis Crick of the double helix structure of DNA, the molecular basis of all organic matter has been called the most important scientific breakthrough of the 20th century. It has touched almost every aspect of modern life, from medicine and forensics to agriculture.

 

Watson's provocative account of how this discovery came about, is covered in this thrilling story of professional obsession and cut-throat rivalry; a battle of wits which not only revealed how genetic material could replicate itself but pushed modern science in an unprecedented direction.

 

The Double Helix is infused with humour and tinged with tragedy, played out in the basement labs and smoky pubs of a distinctly parochial post-war Cambridge. Ultimately, though, it is the exhilarating outcome of the secret of life which makes this book a unique account of the extraordinary power of the human mind.

The Double Helix by James D. Watson

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