Francis Crick’s letter to his 12-year-old son Michael announcing the discovery of DNA’s double-helix structure 60 years ago this week. More at The New York Times.
Jim Watson and I have probably made a most important discovery. We have built a model for the structure of de-oxy-ribose-nucleic-acid (read it carefully) called D.N.A. You may remember that the genes of the chromosomes – which carry the hereditary factors – are made up of protein and D.N.A. Our structure is very beautiful…
Now we believe that the D.N.A. is a code. That is, the order of the bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another)…
In other words we think we have found the basic copying mechanism by which life comes from life. You can understand that we are very excited. Read this carefully so that you understand it. When you come home we will show you the model.
Lots of love, Daddy.”
It will be auctioned off by Christie’s in April.