July 15, 2004
Scientists with model

dnamodel.gifAnother "culture means what I say it means" posting.

While concocting a posting (it will appear tomorrow – link here when it does) for the blog that pays me, I came across this famous photograph, and in a particularly clear version (often it is very blurred), here.

I put in my posting that how Crick and Watson communicated their DNA idea didn't matter. It was enough that they got it across somehow.

But I wonder. There is something very beautiful about a helix, and all the more so when the elements that go to make it are complicated and cloudy and confused. The essential helicalness of the combined object is then all the more remarkable. Complexity leading to simplicity, blah blah. I wonder how well Crick and Watson would have done with such primitive modelling technology had the shape they were chasing been less simple and elegant. Try googling for images of "protein". See what I mean?

Well, I don't know. This is really just an excuse to stick up that picture.

Has anyone redone this, and redone it better, as an oil painting? It would make sense if they did. Here is a clue to what that might look like.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 03:47 AM
Category: HistoryPhotographyScience