SPONSORSHIP WANTED FOR THE 2007 LONDON MARATHON : http://www.justgiving.com/chrisandgeoff

[a. three longer selected articles from "Time" magazine, b. dated satire, c. humorous/musical and d. historical]

a. 1958: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,868589,00.html

1971: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,905032,00.html

1983: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,926244,00.html

b. "That Was The Week That Was" 1962 sketch: Nobel Prizes performed by Roy Kinnear & Millicent Martin;

c. Parodies of mainly The Beatles songs: ' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band ' & 'Come Together ' ;

d. Newspaper stories: News Chronicle: 15.5.53/Varsity: 30.5.53/ The New York Times: 16.5.53 (part) & 13.6.53;


"That Was The Week That Was" : the Nobel Prizes sketch (as was broadcast by the BBC in late 1962*).

"The announcement of the lucky winners on the Alfred Nobel Peace Pools is not an entirely happy occasion. For everyone who wins there are hundreds who lose." (R = Roy Kinnear as husband, M = Millicent Martin as wife.)

R: I see where the Nobel Prizes are gone.

M.: Oh yeh.

R.: Nabbed, every last one of 'em.

M.: Uh-huh.

R.: Four British scientists got 'em.

M.: Mmmmm.

R.: Max Perutz got one.

M.: Oh, did he? Max Perutz, eh?

R.: Yes, for haemoglobin.

M.: Oh.

R.: John Kendrew's got one.

M.: Is that so?

R.: Protein Myoglobin. Composition of the atoms.

M.: Fascinating.

R.: Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins both got 'em.

M.: Uh-huh.

R.: Study of chromosomes transmitting messages to living tissues.

M.: You don't say.

R.: All gone. All the Nobel Prizes. There's an American got one. (Silence.) I say there's an American got one.

M.: Oh yes?

R. : J.D. Watson.

M.: Oh really? Little J.D. Watson. Who'd have thought he'd ever get a Nobel Prize? Makes you think, doesn't it.

R.: All gone. Every flippin' Nobel Prize.

M.: Uh-huh.

R.: And I didn't get one. Not one. Not even a mention.

M.: Just like last year.

R.: That's right.

M.: Well, it's not surprising, is it?

R.: Not surprising?

M. : Well, you're not a scientist, are you?

R.: That's right. Rub salt in the wounds. You don't know that this means to me: Just look at this year, what a record I've got. I didn't win a gold medal at Perth.

M.: Or a silver.

R.: Or a bronze.

M.: You weren't there, were you?

R.: I was counting on that Nobel Prize. I thought that this year for sure. I had the feeling they were going to pick me. Why didn't they pick me? What made them change their minds?

M.: Maybe they forgot.

R.: They forgot last year. They just can't keep forgetting. There's something suspicious going on. I think they're avoiding me.

M.: That must be it.

R.: It wouldn't be so bad if no one in England had got it. But four British scientists, four!

M.: Mmmm.

R.: I came so close!

M.: You're gonna be late for work. (Rising to get his jacket and lunchbox.)

R.: Work! All those people! All knowing I didn't get the prize.

M.: That's life.

R.: (Getting into jacket as she holds it.) The jeers, the jibes...

M.: Don't take it too hard.

R.: And it's a whole year before I get another chance.

M.: (Giving him box.) Don't forget your lunch. Bye. (They kiss.) And cheer up. (As he goes.) There's always the Academy Award.

* for more information on TWTWTW: www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/t/thatwastheweekth_7776280.shtml



"Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band" Based on the performance by The Beatles
"An Ode to Watson, Crick and DNA" Parody by Sweet Indigo

According to 'Sweet Indigo': "I wrote this the day after the 50th anniversary of Watson and Crick's discovery. So it's not strictly accurate. The first couple of lines I actually got from a news article headline, which you can read here."

"It was fifty years ago today
Crick and Watson unlocked DNA
They were working on it quite a while
'Cause that molecule had such style
So may I introduce to you
The fact you've known for all these years
DNA is double-helical

Yes, DNA is double-helical
With purines and pyramidines
DNA is double-helical
The stuff that maps out our genes
DNA is double-
DNA is double-
DNA is double-helical

A sugar and phosphate backbone
And those four bases too
It was such a discovery
They got the Nobel Prize for it
They got the Nobel Prize!

With X-ray crystallography
(By Franklin) It was plain to see
With Maurice Wilkins too
They got the prize in '62
So let me introduce to you
The secret of life on Earth
DNA is double-helical

Yes, DNA is double-helical
The strands run opposite ways
DNA is double helical
And has strict rules that it obeys
DNA is double-
DNA is double-
DNA is double-helical."

"Come Together" Based on the performance by The Beatles
"Francis Crick" Parody by Sweet Indigo

Sweet Indigo said: "Francis Crick is dead.... My boyfriend couldn't empathise with me, so I told him to imagine that Timothy Leary had just died. He got it :) With any luck, ol' Tim won't mind me borrowing his song. Incidentally, Francis Crick said he couldn't remember ever boasting "We've discovered the secret of life" in the pub after discovering the structure of DNA."

"Here come that Francis, he work moving up slowly
He see haemoglobin, he got X-ray crystals
He learn fast biology
But took seventeen years to gain a Ph.D.

He go to Strangeways, he dump the physics
He meet Jimmy Watson, he find double helix
He say, "It make you, it make me"
Boasting in the Eagle, Francis Crick you do see
It's the secret of life, so says he

He Nobel prized it, he work on different structures
He got work with Brenner, he look into proteins,
He propose a code that's comma-free
Read the books he's written all those hypotheses
It's the secret of life, so says he

He ask why conscious, he madly pursuing
He define a problem, he sometimes sound crazy
He say brains go cleaning out with dreams
But never found the secret of neuroanatomy
What's the secret of us, so ask he."

"Geno" Based on the performance by Dexy's Midnight Runners
"Genome" Parody by Sweet Indigo

Sweet Indigo said: "Venter is a biologist who worked (with others) to finish the first complete bacterial genome, Haemophilus influenzae, kicking the butts of the people working on Escherichia coli."

"Back in '53 in a Cambridge lab (Oh Genome)
Dr. Jimmy Watson and Francis Crick were fab (Oh Genome)
Found one day the helix of our DNA
After a while of peeking at Franklin's X-ray
The brightest minds in science that year
Just picking the code and seeing how it appears

Academic inspiration, you gave us some
After Mendel the abbot, the answer had come
And now we've read the words and we're looking into you
DNA telling genes, that's what it's built to do

Venter took the stage, his work was going fast (Oh Genome)
This man used no mapping, but shot-gun at last (Oh Genome)

He came before E. coli, TIGR behind his name
Finished H. influenzae, new techniques were the game
Then went onto humans, microbes are so tame
The Human Genome Project, remember the name

Academic inspiration, you gave us some
You were Venter the winner, the boffin that won
And now we've got the genes that all work to make 'you'
DNA telling genes, that's what it's built to do

Oh Genome"

According to 'Sweet Indigo' : "I wrote this song whilst procrastinating work for my degree." [at the University of York!]


NEWS CHRONICLE (BRITAIN) : Friday, May 15, 1953

Why you are you

Nearer secret

of life.

By Ritchie Calder,

The Science Editor

An exciting discovery about what makes YOU the sort of person you are will be discussed today by one of Britain's foremost scientists.

It was Sir Lawrence Bragg, director of the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, who used the word "exciting" yesterday.

He will be talking to Guy's Hospital medical school about the discovery two groups of students have made with X-rays.

One group is at King's College, London; the other at the Cavendish.

They have found the structure of the chemical which transmits - from one generation to another - inherited characteristics like the colour of the eyes, the shape of the nose and even intelligence.

Vast field opens

They think it is a chemically pure substance which can be isolated from the living cell and crystallised. They call it "D.N.A." (short for deoxyribose nucleic acid) and they have produced a model of its structure.

Sir Lawrence could tell me: "It provides the first rational explanation of how a chemical can reproduce itself."

One could go further and say that it means to the study of the living processes what Rutherford's early descriptions of the structure of the nucleus of the atom meant to physics.

It will open up a vast new field of research into the secret of life.

On four groups of elements, according to their arrangement, depend the characteristics passed from generation to generation.

No one suggests these groupings can yet be arranged artificially. Discovering how these chemical "cards" are shuffled and paired will keep the scientists busy for the next 50 years.

VARSITY (CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY) : Saturday, May 30th, 1953


X-RAY researches by Dr. J.D Watson and Dr. F.H. Crick at the Cavendish Laboratory in connection with work carried out at King's College, London, on hereditary characteristics have been hailed in England as "the biological equivalent to crashing the sound barrier."

Twenty-five year old Dr. Watson, an American, is flying this week-end to a conference on viruses, and he is taking the results of their work with him.

Their researches have looked into the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a substance previously known to be present in dividing cells.

For the first time an explanation in terms of atoms and molecules can be given for cell duplication.

American scientists have accepted this structure and further work will show how far it can provide an explanation of the behaviour of diving cell nuclei.

NEW YORK TIMES (U.S.A.): Saturday, June 13, 1953





American and Briton Report

Solving Molecular Pattern

Of Vital Nucleic Acid





Work Done in England, If It

Is Confirmed, Should Make

Biochemical History


Special to The New York Times

LONDON, June 12 - A scientific partnership between an American and a British biochemist at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge has lead to the unravelling of the structural pattern of a substance as important to biologists as uranium is to nuclear physicists.The substance is nucleic acid, the vital constituent of cells, the carrier of inherited characters and the fluid that links organic life with inorganic matter.

The form of nucleic acid under investigation is called DNA (desoxyribonucleic acid) and has been known since 1869.

But what nobody understood before the Cavendish Laboratory men considered the problem was how the molecules were grooved into each other like the strands of a wire hawser so they were able to pull inherited characters over from one generation to another.

Further Tests Slated

The two biochemists, James Dewey Watson, a former graduate student of the University of Chicago, and his British partner, Frances H.C.Crick, believe that in DNA they have at last find the clue to the chemistry of heredity. If further X-ray tests prove what has largely been demonstrated on paper, Drs. Watson and Crick will have made biochemical history.

Dr. Watson has now returned to the United States, where he intends to join Dr. Linus Pauling, of California, who has done most of the pioneer work on the problem.

[In Pasadena, Calif., Dr. Pauling said that the New Crick-Watson solution appeared to be somewhat better than the proposal for the structure of the nucleic acids worked out by Dr. Pauling and associates at the California Institute of Technology. The California solution was published in the February, 1953, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.]

Dr. Crick may leave Britain, too, when he has done more work on the problem. Right now, he said "it simply smells right" and confirms research in many institutions, particularly the Rockefeller Foundation in the United States and at King's College in London.

The acid DNA, Dr. Crick explained is a "high polymer" - that is, its chemical components can be disentangled and rearranged in different ways.

In all life cells, including those of man, DNA, is the substance that transmits inherited characteristics such as eye colour, nose shape and certain types of blood and diseases. The transmission occurs at the mitosis or cell division when a tangle of DNA containing chromosomes becomes thicker and the cell separates into two daughter cells.

Forming of Molecular Chain

Although DNA has never been Drs. Watson and Crick knew it was composed of horizontal hook-ups of bases (sugars and phosphates) piled one above the other in chain-like formations. The problem was to find out how these giant molecules could be fitted together so they could duplicate themselves exactly.

By a method of scientific doodling with hand-drawn models of the molecules, Drs. Watson and Crick worked out which molecules could be fitted together with regard to the fact that some molecules were more rigid than others and had critical angles of attachment. Some months ago they decided that the only possible inter-relation of the molecules was in the form of two chains arranged in a double helix - like a spiral staircase, with the upper chain resembling the staircase handrail and the lower resembling the outside edge of the stairs.

New evidence for the double DNA chains in helical form now has been obtained from King's College Biophysics Department in London, where a group of workers extracted crystalline DNA from the thymus gland of a calf and bombarded it with X-rays.

The resulting X-ray diffraction photographs showed a whirlpool of light and shade that could be as the components of the double helix.

Dr. Crick emphasized that years of work still must be applied to the helical carriers of life's characteristics. But a working model to aid in the genetical studies of the future now has been paid out by Drs. Watson and Crick - or so most biochemists here believe.

Looks Good, Pauling Says.

Reached by telephone in Pasadena, Dr. Pauling said last night that the Crick-Watson proposals for the structure of the nucleic acids "looks very good". Dr. Pauling has just returned from London where he talked with Dr. Crick and with Dr. Watson, who was formerly a student at California Institute of Technology.

Dr. Pauling said that he did not believe the problem of understanding "molecular genetics" had been finally solved, and that the shape of the molecules was a complicated matter. Both the California and Crick-Watson explanations of the structure of the substances that control heredity are highly speculative, he remarked.

Click here (below) to return to the "Remembering Francis Crick: A Celebration" web page:




THIS PAGE WAS LAST UPDATED ON 17.1.07 BY MARTIN PACKER: martin@packer34.freeserve.co.uk


"How the Brain 'sees' " VIDEO with Dr. Francis Crick and Professor Lewis Wolpert from The Times Dillon
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