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SCIENCE: Discovery of DNA double helix infographic

Discovery of DNA double helix

Graphic News

February 28, 2018 -- The 65th anniversary of the publication of the structure of DNA by James D. Watson, Francis H.C. Crick, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins takes place as scientists debate the ethics of new gene editing techniques.

It was Saturday lunchtime on February 28, 1953, when two Cambridge University scientists pushed open the doors of The Eagle, a favourite pub for researchers at the nearby Cavendish laboratory.

The duo, 25-year-old American bacteriologist and birdwatcher James Watson and Francis Crick, a 37-year-old British physicist, announced that they had unravelled the double helix structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA, saying: “We have discovered the secret of life!”

The momentous discovery was made possible by the research of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, who produced X-ray diffraction photographs of DNA at King’s College in London. Franklin’s DNA picture experimentally confirmed the correctness of the theoretical double helical model Watson and Crick were developing.

Watson and Crick published their findings in Nature, suggesting that the two coiled strands of DNA allowed it to create identical copies of itself, creating a link between generations.

NEW GRAPHIC NEWS - a new website for a new era.

28 years ago — April 2, 1991 — the original Graphic News launched using a precursor to today’s websites that used email technology. These enabled infographics to be delivered electronically around the world over telephone lines. What was possible was very limited - It took 10 minutes for a 100K file to download.

Since then delivery speeds and website technology have moved on. The new website will offer the best online experience possible now, adding many new features (and offering new opportunities for the future), but still enabling existing users to select and download infographics and enjoy the distinct brand of visual journalism that is Graphic News.

Over the coming weeks I will give further information. Please contact me if you have any questions. Fiona Roberts, froberts @