July 29th, 2004

My wonderful Meg kitty.

(no subject)

I'm sure every one already knows, but for those whose only contact with the outside world is my journal (ha)...

Francis Crick (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA and Nobel prize laureate for work on same) passed away at age 88 of colon cancer, just one year after the 50th anniversary of the paper he and Watson published in Nature.

It is perhaps suiting to the gravity of the discovery that the paper began humbly:
"We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest."

It's amazing (and was unknown to me) how much of our knowledge of DNA came from his work. He recognized that DNA contains instructions for the architecture of human beings, is composed of combinations of four chemicals in three molecule pairings, and how DNA is "unzipped" and copied.

According to level_head, he had been exploring the idea that man evolved from bacterial seeds from outer space. It's an interesting avenue of thought, but certainly one wouldn't expect from a man of science. It's roughly equivalent to intelligent design postulates in that form, albeit without the tiresome religious and political bits.

This last bit reminds me that one of my favorite bands ever (Bad Religion) run a research fund for ideas which come from unlikely people or on unlikely ideas. I should really go to Streetlight and pick up their latest.