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Francis Crick dies
Pete Moore
Genome Biology , 2004, DOI: 10.1186/gb-spotlight-20040730-01
Abstract: "If all you think of with Francis Crick is the double helix, then you don't know the man," Crick's Cambridge contemporary and Nobel prize winner Aaron Klug told us. Although Crick did perform many of the intellectual somersaults that revealed DNA's double helix - work for which he shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine - that was only one of the world-changing discoveries that littered his career, according to Klug. While many of his achievements are now so established that they are the stuff of the school curriculum, in their time each was the pinnacle of scientific achievement.Born on June 8, 1916 in Northampton, UK, Francis Harry Compton Crick in 1937 got a degree in physics at University College London, before spending World War II devising ways of sweeping German magnetic mines for the British Admiralty, and designing circuits for British magnetic and acoustic mines. During the war he also married Ruth Dodd, and the couple had a son, Michael.Around the time that the war ended, so too did his marriage. In 1947 he married Odile Speed, and the couple had two daughters, Gabrielle and Jacqueline. 1947 also marked a significant change in his working life, as Crick moved to Strangeways Laboratory, Cambridge, where he studied the physical properties of cytoplasm in cultured fibroblast cells, a task he found intellectually limiting."He always knew who to go and talk to about problems," recalled Cambridge physiologist Horace Barlow. "He sought me out because he knew that I was interested in neuroscience. He was already working on a problem in cell biology, but he didn't think it was very important - all he wanted to do was get that finished with. He wondered whether to go into neurosciences."After much thought, Crick headed for what is now called molecular biology. "He took his choice - and he was obviously right. He could have persuaded me to go into molecular biology, but I was such a bad chemist," Barlow said. So, in 1949 Crick joined the Medical Resear
Francis H. C. Crick. (1916-2004)
Jairo A. Rozo C.
Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología , 2006,
Erwin Schroedinger, Francis Crick and epigenetic stability
Vasily V Ogryzko
Biology Direct , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1745-6150-3-15
Abstract: This article was reviewed by Eugene Koonin, Vlatko Vedral (nominated by Sergei Maslov) and Eric Karsenti (nominated by Arcady Mushegian). For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' Comments section.'Molecular biology has been successful largely because it has concentrated on the type of problem [...] that can be attacked by isolating a small part of a biological system'F. Crick, 'Molecular Biology in the Year 2000'"Living matter, while not eluding the 'laws of physics' as established up to date, is likely to involve 'other laws of physics'... It is, in my opinion, nothing else than the principle of quantum theory over again"E. Schroedinger, 'What is Life?'In one of the most influential books on science in 20th century, 'What is Life?', Erwin Schroedinger, a founder of Quantum Mechanics, asked what physical principles govern the stability of biological systems. He suggested that the physics of the covalent bond holds the key to the secret of heredity and popularized the idea of DNA representing a molecular code-script for the genetic makeup of an organism. The book inspired the collaboration between Crick and Watson and led to the identification of genetic information as the sequence of bases in DNA, replicating via complementary base-base recognition.The recent surge of interest in 'all things epigenetic' shows that the issue of stability, let alone heredity, of biological systems is far more complex than one could envision half a century ago. While recognizing the role of DNA sequence as the dominant contributor to the persistence of biological order, the emerging view offers a richer spectrum of additional factors that contribute to biological organization in a manner somewhat independent from DNA. A large subset of these factors, summed up under the name of epigenetic information, is responsible for the maintenance of differentiated cell types in development, plays an important role in cancer and has been making headlines lately as the culprit responsible
The multiple personalities of Watson and Crick strands
Reed A Cartwright, Dan Graur
Biology Direct , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1745-6150-6-7
Abstract: The Saccharomyces Genome Database defines the Watson strand as the strand which has its 5'-end at the short-arm telomere and the Crick strand as its complement. The Watson strand is always used as the reference strand in their database. Using this as the basis of our standard, we recommend that Watson and Crick strand terminology only be used in the context of genomics. When possible, the centromere or other genomic feature should be used as a reference point, dividing the chromosome into two arms of unequal lengths. Under our proposal, the Watson strand is standardized as the strand whose 5'-end is on the short arm of the chromosome, and the Crick strand as the one whose 5'-end is on the long arm. Furthermore, the Watson strand should be retained as the reference (plus) strand in a genomic database. This usage not only makes the determination of Watson and Crick unambiguous, but also allows unambiguous selection of reference stands for genomics.This article was reviewed by John M. Logsdon, Igor B. Rogozin (nominated by Andrey Rzhetsky), and William Martin.In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick published the structure of DNA [1], for which they were awarded a Nobel Prize in 1962. They determined that DNA consists of two antiparallel, complementary strands twisted around each other to form a right-handed double helix held in place by interactions between complementary base pairs: adenine (A) with thymine (T) and guanine (G) with cytosine (C). From this structure, it was straightforwardly evident how the genetic information was copied and maintained [2].As a couple, Watson and Crick were immediately hyphenated and eponymized, resulting in terms such as "Watson-Crick model" [3], "Watson-Crick structure" [4], "Watson-Crick helix" [5], "Watson-Crick duplex" [6], "Watson-Crick hydrogen bond" [7], "Watson-Crick bridge" [8], "Watson-Crick complementarity" [5], as well as "Watson-Crick base pair" [9] and its antonym "non-Watson-Crick base pair" [10]. These terms are unequiv
Francis Crick's Legacy for Neuroscience: Between the α and the Ω  [PDF]
Ralph M. Siegel,Edward M. Callaway
PLOS Biology , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020419
Francis Crick's Legacy for Neuroscience: Between the α and the Ω  [PDF]
Ralph M Siegel ,Edward M Callaway
PLOS Biology , 2004, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020419
Erwin Schroedinger, Francis Crick and epigenetic stability  [PDF]
Vasily Ogryzko
Physics , 2007,
Abstract: Schroedinger's book 'What is Life?' is widely credited for having played a crucial role in development of molecular and cellular biology. My essay revisits the issues raised by this book from the modern perspective of epigenetics and systems biology. I contrast two classes of potential mechanisms of epigenetic stability: 'epigenetic templating' and 'systems biology' approaches, and consider them from the point of view expressed by Schroedinger. I also discuss how quantum entanglement, a nonclassical feature of quantum mechanics, can help to address the 'problem of small numbers' that lead Schroedinger to promote the idea of molecular code-script for explanation of stability of biological order.
Reversible Watson-Crick Automata  [PDF]
Kingshuk Chatterjee,Kumar Sankar Ray
Computer Science , 2015,
Abstract: Watson-Crick automata are finite automata working on double strands. Extensive research work has already been done on non-deterministic Watson-Crick automata and on deterministic Watson-Crick automata. In this paper, we introduce a new model of Watson-Crick automata which is reversible in nature named reversible Watson-Crick automata and explore its computational power. We show even though the model is reversible and one way it accepts all regular languages and also analyze the state complexity of the above stated model with respect to non-deterministic block automata and non-deterministic finite automata and establish its superiority. We further explore the relation of the reversible model with twin-shuffle language and recursively enumerable languages.
Edward Francis Caldin (1914-1999) (biography)
Maurice Crosland
Hyle : International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry , 2002,
Abstract: biography of Edward Francis Caldin (1914-1999)
Wellcome Trust buys Crick's archives  [cached]
Pat Hagan
Genome Biology , 2001, DOI: 10.1186/gb-spotlight-20011217-01
Abstract: The aim is to make as much as possible of this national scientific treasure available online to those who want an insight into Crick, his work and the process by which he and Watson arrived at their landmark findings on DNA. Crick has been described as one of the outstanding British scientific figures of the last century and his DNA work, in the words of the Wellcome Trust, is "widely recognized as one of the defining and enabling moments in the history of human achievement".Although DNA was first discovered in 1869, it was Crick and Watson's description of its double-helix structure that paved the way for the eventual sequencing of the entire human genome. In 1962, Crick and Watson - along with physician Maurice Wilkins - received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their work. So it is with some degree of satisfaction that, on 6 December 2001, the Wellcome Trust (a UK based charitable foundation that aims to advance biomedical research) announced it had succeeded in securing Crick's papers using a grant of £904,000 given by the Heritage Lottery Fund - a body that uses National Lottery money to fund projects deemed vital for the protection of national heritage. Together with another £904,000 of its own money, the Trust has the financial wherewithal to ensure the archive - currently residing with Crick in California - is not lost to the nation.But why is it so important to preserve the papers and, 50 years on, can Crick's work on DNA offer any new insights that might progress today's research? Until the files arrive, the Wellcome Trust said that it's hard to know exactly what they contain. But it's known that Crick has kept records of correspondence, laboratory notebooks and manuscripts for published articles and books. These cover the breakthrough period in the early 1950s when the DNA structure was discovered, together with all Crick's subsequent work in molecular biology and neuroscience. The Trust has proposed the Crick archive - in financial terms it
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