This latest collection on Profiles in Science represents a close collaboration between the National Library of Medicine and the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine in London, which holds the Crick papers. The Crick collection brings to 14 the number of notable researchers and public health officials whose personal and professional records are featured on Profiles. The site is located at www.profiles.nlm.nih.gov.
The name of Francis Crick (1916?004) is inextricably linked to the discovery of the double helix of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in 1953, considered the most significant advance in biology since Darwin’s theory of evolution. The insights of Crick, and his collaborator, James D. Watson, into the structure of DNA and into the genetic code made possible a new understanding of heredity at the molecular level.
“Major current advances in science and biotechnology, such as genetic engineering, the mapping of the human genome, and genetic fingerprinting, all have their origins in Crick’s inspired work,?said Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., director of the National Library of Medicine. “The double helix has not only reshaped biology, it has become a cultural icon, represented in sculpture, visual art, jewelry, and toys.?/p>
During a research career spanning more than 50 years, the theoretical biologist and biophysicist also made fundamental contributions to structural studies of important biological molecules through X-ray analysis; to our understanding of protein synthesis; to the deciphering of the genetic code by which hereditary informatio