Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Double Helix

Last night I finished reading my third book of 2010, The Double Helix by James Watson. James Watson along with Francis Crick discovered the double helical structure of DNA in 1953, for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. The structure of DNA, with the sequence of nitrogenous bases (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine) coding for the chains of amino acids that make up protein is at the root of all life (at least all life that we know of), so this was a pretty amazing discovery. It was an excellent book, and even though I knew how it would end it was still suspenseful to read about the race to be the first to determine the structure. It was pretty short (220 pages) and a fast read, highly recommended to anyone who has an interest in science.

There are some great quotes in this book, one of my favourites being: "One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid.". I think this is an excellent point, as some people seem to think that if an individual has some letters after their name (MD, PhD, etc.) then everything they say is true, even if it is not in the subject area in which their expertise lies.

The sunny skies of yesterday have been replaced by clouds and rain today, so it looks like another day of working on bathroom trim for me.

Weight: 162.4


  1. Cammer, no kidding. For example, I believe everything you have to say about phase-amplitude calibrations but when you start talking about ab-busters, I want to leave the room immediately. (But this also has a lot to do with my constant "tensing" so don't be too offended.)

  2. Ha ha, that is a good idea! I actually just finished a round of ab-busters myself, which could have been easily avoided if I had just kept them tense throughout the evening!