any of several elongated, threadlike cells
He was Willy Seeds, a scientist who several years before had worked at King’s College, London, with Maurice Wilkins on the optical properties of DNA
exercising influence or control
And as Francis was the
dominant force in shaping my part, I will start the story with him.
process by which light changes passing through a narrow slit
He had been collecting X-ray
diffraction data from hemoglobin crystals for over ten years and was just beginning to get somewhere.
a hemoprotein that gives red blood cells their color
He had been collecting X-ray diffraction data from
hemoglobin crystals for over ten years and was just beginning to get somewhere.
the simplest structural unit of an element or compound
The more complex the
molecule, the happier Bragg became when a new method allowed its elucidation.
an interpretation that removes obstacles to understanding
The more complex the molecule, the happier Bragg became when a new method allowed its
affected with or marked by frenzy uncontrolled by reason
Almost everyone enjoyed these
manic moments, especially when we had the time to listen attentively and to tell him bluntly when we lost the train of his argument.
worthy of notice
But there was one
of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement
Conversations with Crick frequently upset Sir Lawrence Bragg, and the sound of his voice was often
sufficient to make Bragg move to a safer room.
not occurring regularly or at short intervals
Only infrequently would he come to tea in the Cavendish, since it meant enduring Crick’s booming over the tea room.
Only infrequently would he come to tea in the Cavendish, since it meant
enduring Crick’s booming over the tea room.
a bounded scope
At the time of my arrival, Francis’ theories spread far beyond the
confines of protein crystallography.
happening at a time later than another time
Moreover, he could not refrain from
subsequently telling all who would listen how his clever new idea might set science ahead.
the transmission of genetic factors to the next generation
Before my arrival in Cambridge, Francis only occasionally thought about deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and its role in
concerned with hypotheses rather than practical applications
A major factor in his leaving physics and developing an interest in biology had been the reading in 1946 of What Is Life? by the noted
theoretical physicist Erwin Schrodinger.
part of DNA controlling physical characteristics and growth
This book very elegantly propounded the belief that
genes were the key components of living cells and that, to understand what life is, we must know how
a threadlike strand of DNA that carries genes
Given the fact that DNA was known to occur in the
chromosomes of all cells, Avery’s experiments strongly suggested that future experiments would show that all genes were composed of DNA.
If true, this meant to Francis that proteins would not be the Rosetta Stone for
unraveling the true secret of life.
not putting an end to doubt or question
Of course there were scientists who thought the evidence favoring DNA was
inconclusive and preferred to believe that genes were protein molecules.
stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate
cantankerous fools who unfailingly backed the wrong horses.
austere life could not be thus explained—she was the daughter of a solidly comfortable, erudite banking family.
a basic truth or law or assumption
principles told us that Pauling could not be the greatest of all chemists without realizing that DNA was the most golden of all molecules.
abhorred most chemists, especially the competitive variety out of the jungles of New York City.
the study of heredity and variation in organisms
Moreover, the chemists who did work on DNA were almost always organic chemists with no interest in
pertaining to life and living things
Thus both Luria and Delbruck hoped the Copenhagen lab would be the place where the combined techniques of chemistry and genetics might eventually yield real
a bonus; something extra
Thus both Luria and Delbruck hoped the Copenhagen lab would be the place where the combined techniques of chemistry and genetics might eventually yield real biological
Perhaps he minded the fact that I was only
motivation deriving from ethical or moral principles
Through a completely unanticipated event my moral
conscience became clear.
difficult to understand
One day early in December, I cycled over to Herman’s lab expecting another charming yet totally
tending to bring about; being partly responsible for
On the other hand, the sun of Naples might be
conducive to learning something about the biochemistry of the embryonic development of marine animals.
of an organism prior to birth or hatching
On the other hand, the sun of Naples might be conducive to learning something about the biochemistry of the
embryonic development of marine animals.
expressing or manifesting praise or approval
affirmative letter wishing me a pleasant journey came by return post from Washington.
repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
Thus there was seldom chance for anything but
an arrangement of parts or elements
At that time almost nothing was published about the possible three-dimensional
configurations of a nucleic-acid molecule.
devoid of significance or point
His talk was far from
vacuous and stood out sharply from the rest, several of which bore no connection to the purpose of the meeting.
make an indirect reference to
Several other speakers were continental biologists, at that time guests at the Zoological Station, who only briefly
alluded to macromolecular structure.
held in check with difficulty
It was certainly better to imagine myself becoming famous than maturing into a
stifled academic who had never risked a thought.
great in size, force, extent, or degree
The combination of his
prodigious mind and his infectious grin was unbeatable.
having your attention fixated as though by a spell
Even if he were to say nonsense, his
mesmerized students would never know because of his unquenchable self-confidence.
mark as different
A sentence like “Genes are interesting to geneticists” would
distinguish my way of thought from Pauling’s.
call forth, as an emotion, feeling, or response
Even my information that a pretty X-ray photograph of DNA existed
elicited no real response.
impossible to doubt
indisputable reputation, Bragg had worked out his Law just before World War I, so I assumed he must be in effective retirement and would never care about genes.
a positive motivational influence
I was to write Washington that a major
inducement in my wanting to be in Cambridge was the presence of Roy Markham, an English biochemist who worked with plant viruses.
equipment designed to serve a specific function
Markham took the news quite casually when I walked into his office and told him that he might acquire a model student who would never bother him by cluttering up his lab with experimental
a formal command or admonition
Also I occasionally forgot the
injunction not to flush the toilet at similar hours and, even worse, I went out after 10:00 p.m.