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#ThrowbackThursday: Francis Crick

Today is the anniversary of English biochemist and biophysicist, Francis Crick’s death.

Crick is one of the world’s most influential scientists, winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He won this prize with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins, for their determination of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ultimately responsible for genetic control of life functions. This accomplishment became a foundation of genetics and was widely regarded as one of the most important discoveries of 20th-century biology, go Francis!

He announced his discovery in the Eagle pub telling his astonished fellow drinkers: “Gentlemen, we have discovered the secret of life!”

Here are some of Francis Crick’s mantras:

– Almost all aspects of life are engineered at the molecular level, and without understanding molecules we can only have a very sketchy understanding of life itself.

– Be sensible but don’t be impressed too much by negative arguments. If at all possible, try it and see what turns up.

– Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.

– Chance is the only source of true novelty.

– If you want to understand function, study structure.