From your high school science classes you may know the names Watson and Crick. If you took any more biology classes you may have heard of Wilkins, but a third name is often overlooked: Rosalind Franklin. Together, they took blurry photographs of DNA goo and discovered “the secret to life.”

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00:00:02It's february twenty eighth nineteen fifty three it's a gray winter day in cambridge england and in the eagle it's lunchtime pub is dim and cozy and the smell of the local favorites like shepherd's pie bangers and mash fills the air it looks set to be a perfectly ordinary
00:00:21afternoon but a moment later calm is shattered front door flies open and everyone turns to see a blond man in his mid thirties hurry in on a wooden bench on the other side of the pub skinny young man with wild hair and big eyes sitting the blond man
00:00:39orders thie usual two pints please bartender slides his beer across the bar then the blond man raises his glass and calls out for everyone to hear Gentlemen we have discovered the secret of life around the pub The reaction is one of shock and disbelief Some of the other
00:01:00scientists looked confused to others amazed if you look skeptical what are you going on about the secret of life Yes what is he talking about The blond man is francis crick in english scientist and his wild haired friend is an american james watson The reason for their excitement
00:01:20is standing in the corner of a small room in the cavendish laboratory just down the road from the eagle it's a sculpture made out of what looks like tinker toys with wedges of cardboard attached the sculpture is hardly impressive it's something a kindergartner would build but if you
00:01:39look closely it has a certain elegance to it a pleasing symmetry it's shaped like a long ladder with many wrongs except it has been twisted so that it looks more like a spiral staircase This is the first accurate model of dna the molecular blueprint for life dna's structure
00:02:00is one of the most important discoveries in the history of science and francis crick has just announced it to the world in a pub The discovery of dna's double helix would go on to earn these two scientists a nobel prize and would transform science forever But of course
00:02:19it wasn't their discovery at least not theirs alone It had taken decades and the work of many other men and women to get them there It may have sounded incredibly arrogant at the time but in one sense francis crick was right there discovery would unlock the secrets of
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00:03:41If you love what you're hearing now you contrive zip recruiter for free just goto zip recruiter dot com slash aye aye that's zip recruiter dot com slash a zip recruiter the smartest way to hire from wondering this is american innovation on your host stephen johnson this is episode
00:04:21three of our six part series on dna the stuff of life in our last episode we looked at how scientists in the fly room at columbia university made several major discoveries One was that genetic information in the form of genes is carried around on structures called chromosomes but
00:04:40what exactly are genes and what are they made off Finding The answer to that question would occupy many of the greatest scientific minds of the nineteen fifties but the story of that search was also a very human affair full of stupid mistakes and petty jealousies and as you
00:05:00might have guessed from that display in the eagle pub more than a little arrogance in the next chapter in the story of dna four figures stand out James watson and francis crick obviously and a third man maurice wilkins the fourth name is sometimes overlooked Rosalynn franklin we'll get
00:05:21to her soon watson claimed that he had discovered the secret of life with good reason but the secret story behind its discovery proves just how messy science and life itself khun get But nineteen fifty scientists knew that chromosomes carry genetic information and they knew that they were made
00:05:43of two ingredients Proteins and nuclear kassid Thie key to inheritance The secret sauce of genetics had to be in one of those and at the time most scientists for sure that it was the proteins Now you can think about genes as a way to say store information and
00:06:02in storing information sells confuse two different languages proteins or dna each with different alphabets A protein is a long chain made up of smaller bits called amino acids Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins just like a b c and d and so on are the building
00:06:22blocks of works There are twenty amino acids in total twenty letters Dna is also a long linear molecule but instead of amino acids dna letters are called bases There are four bases total At a name cytosine guanine and simon abbreviated a c g and t thie keep went
00:06:48for scientists is that while proteins have twenty amino acids twenty letters to work with dna has just four letters a c g and t and if you're trying to write down an instruction book for life a book with enough power to create ants and redwoods and duck billed
00:07:03platypus is and human beings an alphabet with twenty letters seems far more powerful than an alphabet with just four imagine trying to write a novel in a language with just four letters and you can see the problem naturally Most scientists believed that the bigger alphabet carry genetic information
00:07:21until the early nineteen fifties when two scientists with some vats of viruses and a kitchen blender make a dramatic discovery It's nineteen fifty two and in cold spring harbor laboratory on long island to scientists are bent over a wooden workbench lining the laboratory or shelves of beakers flasks
00:07:43of marquee liquids with microbes brewing inside lead scientist is alfred hershey he's a scrawny bespectacled man with an army buzz cut and a mustache The assistant at his side is martha chase around cheeked woman with close cropped brown hair ready i've prepped the bacteria her she and chase
00:08:05want to prove once and for all that the genetic material being injected isn't dna but proteins to this end they've designed a clever test let's add the virus is now they take down two flasks from their shelf One flask has a batch of viruses with radioactive dna and
00:08:24another has radioactive proteins Hershey and chase can now trace the movement of dna or proteins by following the trail of radio activity It's like a radioactive tracking device has been placed on the dna and the proteins they squirt viruses from each batch into two separate petrie dish is
00:08:43full of bacteria they give the virus is time to inject their genetic material into the bacteria thing Then they use a kitchen blender in a centrifuge to separate the virus husks from the bacteria Now comes the moment of truth Using a geiger counter they examined the bacteria infected
00:09:05by the virus with the radioactive proteins If proteins are the genetic material than those bacteria should be radioactive as well but nothing happens The geiger counter remains silent No proteins have been injected but when they point the geiger counter towards the other batch of bacteria it can only
00:09:27mean one thing Virus has injected not proteins but dna against all expectations Here is the genetic material genes aren't made of proteins at all They're made of dna after her she and chases blender experiment dna becomes the hottest biomolecules in the world But if the blender experiment answered
00:09:52one question it raised many others What is the structure of this dna stuff How to sells copy dna and pass it from parents to children and most perplexing of all how can four measly letters and code enough information to make every living thing on earth The first step
00:10:13to answer any of these questions was to determine the structure of dna The starting gun had been fired on a scientific race goal an accurate model of this crucial molecules and at the time there was only one man to beat linus pauling it's the spring of nineteen forty
00:10:36five linus pauling attends a medical conference in new york after a full day of lectures he shows up for dinner where yet another doctor is giving another presentation this time on a painful blood disorder called sickle cell disease with this disorder will typically report pain in the joints
00:10:54Other symptoms include dizziness appalling isn't paying much attention it's been a long day and he's pretty tired suddenly though the doctor says something that snaps palling awake Sickle cell disease producers misshapen red blood cells instead of being round the cells of people with the disease are christened shaped
00:11:13but that crescent shape is far more common in veins than arteries Red blood cells and arteries tend to look normal health cops appalling has a flash of insight It would take a few more years to work out the details but his insight that day would change history with
00:11:33wizard of caltech that's what people called linus pauling a tall angular chemist with curly brown hair and a big grin he was widely considered to be the best chemist in the world in the nineteen twenties he had figured out how to apply quantum mechanics to chemistry palling single
00:11:50handedly revolutionized the field A colleague said that after palling chemistry could be understood rather than being memorized not content to revolutionize just one field he branched out into biology in the nineteen forties people with sickle cell disease haven't incorrect amino acid at one point in their hemoglobin this
00:12:11mistake changes the structure of hemoglobin so that it doesn't function properly and is bent out of shape what made paul ings discovery so important was that the implications went way beyond sickle cell disorder thiss was the first disease ever trace down to a molecular flaw and it opened
00:12:30up a whole new approach to medicine doctors could now use biochemistry to study the root causes of diseases instead of just treating symptoms pauling was once again hailed as a genius so when palling began to work on dna he was the odds on favorite to discover its structure
00:12:49first if anyone could do it his colleagues figured it was the wizard of caltech but several thousand miles away in a pub in cambridge england too awkward graduate students were already plotting to be him to the punch what if you could pull up a chair next to some
00:13:10of the wisest most accomplished teachers creators change makers and leaders in the world and asked them your deepest questions and learn from their wisdom Well that's exactly what award winning author and innovator jonathan fields does on his wildly popular good life project podcast and he's inviting you to
00:13:31come along every week Good life projects bring you raw unscripted revealing conversations with luminaries like burn a brown elizabeth gilbert reverend angel kyoto williams and tim ferriss no script no sound bites no standard q and a or three minute segments the's air in depth often deeply intimate and
00:13:52surprising conversations You'll not only see a side of these often high profile guests that you'll rarely ever see You'll also hear stories and wisdom that will move you deeply We reconnect you with what it means to be alive and inspire you to craft your best life Start listening
00:14:09now just search for good life project in your listening app figuring out dna structure was a real puzzle it wasn't possible to look at the molecule at least not in any great detail so scientists had to deduce it shape based partly on the little they did know about
00:14:32for start they knew that dna had two main parts there were its bases the gmt on they also knew that it had a backbone the backbone consists of alternating units of ringed carbon and phosphate molecules the a c g t bases then stick out from this backbone But
00:14:53beyond that they didn't have much of an idea of the rest of the molecule shape was the spine straight or twisted or some other shape entirely nor did anyone know how many strands of dna were involved Was there a single backbone or where they're multiple strands coiled around
00:15:09each other These were the questions that the two cambridge graduate students james watson and francis crick thought they could solve in nineteen fifty one Creek is thirty five years old ancient for graduate students He started out in physics and then gotten distracted with war work for england before
00:15:29switching to biology He's a balding blond man who dresses in three piece suits and where's the sideburns long he also talks nonstop A colleague once described his voice as quote an incessant falsetto with occasional nuggets gleaming in the turbid stream of prattle He declared that together crick and
00:15:50his colleague watson looked like a variety act James watson is ten years younger than creek just twenty five and has wild unkempt hair and ears that stick out from his head he's an american and has actually ended up in cambridge after failing to get into caltech or linus
00:16:08pauling worked watson it actually been working on those same kinds of viruses that it wound up in the blender experiments a few years earlier he's always been interested in the structure of dna but in the early nineteen fifties he attends a lecture in london that seems to spark
00:16:24something inside him He half listens to the scientists as she outlined some preliminary work she's done on dna It involves firing x rays at a sample of dna and then capturing the reflected raise on photographic film From the patterns that show up she confer a little about the
00:16:42structure and how the backbone and bases fit together It's new information information that linus pauling all the way on the other side of the world doesn't yet know when he gets back to cambridge watson tells creek about the lecture We can build a physical model of dna based
00:17:01on this data we can solve the problem before anyone else they get to work immediately let's approach it like a logic puzzle There's some things we know for certain right dna has a backbone rich with phosphorus and it contains the four bases a c g and t so
00:17:20we need to figure out how these parts fit together right What did franklin say in the lecture about the shape of dna It has a backbone right But what else Uh i'm not sure they have no choice but to work with the details they have to build the
00:17:37model they use what looked like an erector set watson once called their tools tinkertoys thie dna backbone is made of short metal rods and rings and it's held together with clips knobs or bases are flat plates of sheet metal or cardboard They started the floor and begin building
00:17:55towards the ceiling clamping everything to a metal pole in the centre One big question is how many backbones to incur clued in the model watson and crick discuss the matter over gooseberry pie at the local pub the eagle based on watson's half remember data they decide on a
00:18:13three backbone dna molecule there's a lot of cramming to make things fit but by the next morning they've slapped together a snappy looking triple helix The next thing to do is get some feedback creek calls up maurice wilkins the head of the london group studying dna Wilkins decides
00:18:33to come to cambridge the next morning to see what they've come up with he's accompanied by the x ray specialist who's lecture watson had attendant rosalind franklin Watson and crick don't realize however that things within the london group are tense There have been fights recently over equipment over
00:18:51access to dna and especially over who was really in charge of their work wilkins or franklin the trouble had started a year earlier a swiss biologist who developed the recipe to isolate very pure dna from the thymus gland of a calf it came out as a goopy gel
00:19:10white ish and color he kept his recipe a secret but was very generous about sharing samples of the dna and gave a vile toe wilkins at a scientific meeting in may of nineteen fifties wilkins takes the dna goo back to his lab storing it in an old jelly
00:19:26jar wilkinson tries using x rays to photograph the dna and determine its structure but being an experienced his pictures or mediocre too blurry to be useful after several months of frustration he admits he needs help and he asks his boss scientist named j t randall to find an
00:19:45expert on x ray photography to a system randall does rosalynn franklin although she's english she's been working in paris for years and she loves the egalitarian atmosphere in the labs there she doesn't feel like a second class citizen there but franklin ultimately wants to establish herself in england
00:20:05so she accepts the job at king's college back in london toe work on dna and here's where the trouble starts when randall hires franklin he assures her that she'll be working independently running her own research project but this promise contradicts what wilkins actually wanted he only wanted an
00:20:24assistant and unfortunately wilkins is on vacation when franklin accepts and can't clear the matter up so when wilkins returns from vacation and starts treating franklin like the assistant he expects she bristles He keeps hounding her for data and she keeps telling him to back off one afternoon things
00:20:44get especially ugly Franklin has succeeded in producing a much tighter beam of x rays and wilkins ever has and is getting sharp pictures say these air really good Did you see how these two lines cross here That seems to suggest a helix shape How dare you interpret my
00:21:03data for me Franklin snaps wilkins is taken aback All i meant was maybe weakened collaborate i don't think that would be appropriate after that thea atmosphere in the london lab is poisonous by the time they get the call from watson and crick franklin and wilkins are barely speaking
00:21:24to each other For their part watson and crick are oblivious to this drama there too excited about their triple helix They start off their presentation enthusiastically Thank you both for making the trip at short notice As i already mentioned we've developed a theoretical model for this Things quickly
00:21:43unraveled as theorists not experimentalists duo has very little practical knowledge about dna like the kind of knowledge franklin has and that morning she uses that knowledge to trash their model the conclusion the rosalind x ray data suggests a helix it's much too early to conclude that can i
00:22:03also so point out an immediate problem that comes to mind with your model Are you too familiar with franklin is arguably the better scientist and she knows the cambridge duos model can't be right It's a humiliating ordeal for the two men even the blabber mouth creek falls quiet
00:22:21their lunch at the eagle that day is a gloomy one We're still word of franklin's dressing down soon trickles up to their advisor at cambridge Technically both watson and crick was supposed to be working on other projects to earn their phds The adviser is tolerated the dna work
00:22:40as a sideline nothing more But after franklin and will conceive he calls him into his office and in no uncertain terms they hands them from working on dna Watson and crick swallow hard and reluctantly agree but neither man has any intention of keeping this promise if they have
00:22:58to work on dna in secret so be it Meanwhile linus pauling is dealing with troubles of his own The u s government is accusing him of treason The problem is in his research it's his political activism in particular his speeches and articles opposing nuclear weapons It doesn't take
00:23:21long for people to start whispering that appalling must be a communist himself So in early nineteen fifty two palling applies for a passport to travel to europe that spring the state department denies it The department is up the opinion that your proposed travel would not be in the
00:23:37best interests of the united states Palling fights back but as a result of all this he misses an important biochemical conference in england on may first Rosalynn franklin does attend the conference and talks to one of paul ings assistance there She even shows him some top notch photographs
00:23:54she's taken of dna but palling himself would never see the pictures eventually after albert einstein and other scientists raise a stink palling does receive a limited passport to travel to europe in june of nineteen fifty two and before the trip he writes maurice wilkins i'm traveling to london
00:24:14I'm very interested in seeing rosalynn franklin's photographs during my visit I'm sorry but since the conference we've decided not to share the pictures anymore The window of opportunity has closed and paul ings passport troubles have cost him his one and only chance As a result falling is at
00:24:35a major disadvantage when he finally sits down in the fall of nineteen fifty two to crack the mystery of dna's structure not having seen franklin's pictures he asked her why on a few sketchy photographs taken by another colleague Unfortunately for him the dna and these pictures is partially
00:24:52dehydrated that's a problem because the hydrated dna shrivels up and changes shape it would be like trying to reconstruct what a flower looks like based solely on a dried up bouquet or more precisely a poorly lit picture of a dried up who can appalling doesn't know this when
00:25:11he starts with structure he comes up with has three backbones on the bases are pointing outwards pawling than russia's the paper into print submitting it to a journal on the last day of december in nineteen fifty two the wizard of caltech has done it he's described the structure
00:25:30of dna before anyone else or so he thinks it's january nineteen fifty three peter palling linus pauling son has just returned to university after christmas holidays he's a cambridge university the same university is james watson and francis crick james francis how were your holidays Never mind about that
00:25:54Have you heard anything about your father's work on dna Peter has palling has written a paper on dna he tells watson and we'll be sending him a copy short watson stomach clench is he's convinced the wizard of caltech has pulled some dna a rabbit out of his hat
00:26:11and beaten he distracts himself by actually working on his phd research for once but try as he might those three letters keep pounding in his head dna d n a finally one day in early february right after lunch peter strolls into watson and creeks office with the paper
00:26:31in his pocket as soon as peter walks in watson sees something in his expression watson stomach drops taking pity on them peter cuts to the chase i've read it he's come up with a model of dna it's a triple helix with the backbone facing the center what's wrong
00:26:50That was our idea we came up within a year ago but we got told that it just couldn't work if only we had stuck with it we could have solved it already unable to contain himself watson yanks the paper out of peter's coat pocket and begin skimming oddly
00:27:05though he notices some errors near the beginning he says that the backbone has to face the center but franklin told us that was impossible Then mohr errors pop up creek is reading over watson shoulder by now and points out other flaws and look here we said exactly the
00:27:22same thing but that can't be right Finally it dawns on the two men great linus pauling has just reproduced in a soon to be published paper every rookie mistake that they had made a year earlier realizing they haven't lost the race yet they run to their advisor and
00:27:41confess that they've been working on dna this whole time in high spirits watson and crick storm into the eagle that night rather than his traditional glass of sherry watson let's creek buy him a whisky to toast fallings blunders the race for dna isn't over provided watson and crick
00:28:00and wrestle a few clues away from rosalynn franklin this episode of american innovations is brought to you by pitney bows with pity bos mailing and shipping solutions confidence is built in that someone dedicated to innovation some of my favorite innovations are the ones that saved me time i'm
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00:29:15hundred models visit us online at pbd dot com slash a i tow learn more and start your free trial today that's p b dot com slash aye aye terms apply see site for details it's february nineteen fifty three a young woman is bending over a light box at
00:29:44king's college in london She is short we ve brown hair and it's intensely focused on the photograph in front of her a picture of the most talked about molecule in science dna as one of the few female scientists at the college in fact in all of england rosalynn
00:30:02franklin has had a tough time at king's college She misses her lab in france where she had been treated with more respect here she's barred from entering some of the common rooms which are male only she can't even eat her meals in the same places as the men
00:30:16either all that hassle takes time away from the work she wants to be doing on dna she sighs straightens up switches off the light box just then the door bursts open and a skinny young man with wild hair barges in her eyes narrow when she sees who the
00:30:35intruder is she picks up the photo and tucks it away in a drawer you might have knocked o rosie still wearing the same clothes is the last time i saw you some things don't change i suppose such a shame you know if you put on a little lipstick
00:30:49maybe it's a new dress what do you want James watson saunters up to the bench then he removes a paper from his pocket peter sent me a copy of his father's article one look he's spoiling for a fight it might amuse you it's essentially the same structure francis
00:31:05and i suggested last year Remember the one you so graciously tore apart anyway get this He still thinks it's a triple helix and there's not a shred of evidence for that Doesn't anyone around here care about doing proper scientific research Watson rolls his eyes We both know the
00:31:22simplest form is a helix If you weren't so incompetent and interpreting your pictures you'd see that franklin stands up angry She starts coming around the lab bench towards him Watson starts backing up towards the door his confidence deserting him Justice franklin is about to reach him The door
00:31:39swings open again James are you here A skinny bespectacled man with a huge forehead is there he's about to say more but senses the tension in the air He glances at franklin and then backto watson I heard you were looking for me Watson ducks behind him Yes Yes
00:31:59i was just leaving Miss franklin decided our conversation was over near a fight like this really did take place in nineteen fifty three on lee The timely arrival of wilkins saved watson's neck and here's where the story of dna takes a controversial term by nature Wilkins is timid
00:32:23and reserved but is he and watching scurried down the hallway wilkins opens up about the emotional hell he says franklin is putting him through in fact wilkins is so relieved to talk to someone that he does watson a favor a potentially unethical one during their conversation wilkins mentions
00:32:42that franklin took some beautiful pictures of dna a few months ago pictures far clearer than any previous ones but for some reason she's hidden them away then gotten distracted on a side project watson naturally asks what the photographs look like at this wilkins leaves the room and comes
00:33:02back with a copy of one a copy he'd taken earlier without franklin's knowledge it's now known as photograph fifty one he then hands it to watson something franklin never would have allowed to an amateur i photograph fifty one doesn't look like much a black ex on a white
00:33:25background reminiscent of a wristwatch but does someone trained to interpret these photographs it's stunning the instant i saw the picture watson later said my mouth fell open on my pulse began to race franklin has been insisting for months that they don't have enough evidence to conclude dna is
00:33:46a helix but to watson thiss black cross can't be anything but a helix watson races back to cambridge to tell creek and over the next few days the clues begin to fall into place clue number one is photographed fifty one based on that they feel certain there's a
00:34:07healer it's involved clue to had come during franklin's original dressing down a year earlier the base is on the back bone have to be on the inside of the molecule this is where they had gotten stuck before How do those bases match up when they're facing in words
00:34:24Watson and crick realized that perhaps their initial idea about there being three backbones to the molecule was wrong What if dna isn't made up of three corkscrew shapes twisted around each other with the bases crisscrossing each other What if it was just two corkscrews a twisted ladder shape
00:34:45a double helix on when they look at the shape of a c g and t more closely their hearts begin racing again Watson and creeks model finally comes together one morning in late february that very day at lunchtime as watson later recalled francis winged into the eagle to
00:35:06tell everyone within hearing distance that we had found the secret of life It's a great moment in the history of science but the celebration actually leaves watson queasy he's worried they're being premature after all if they still haven't nailed down all the details much less published their results
00:35:26Who knew what tricks the wizard of caltech might yet pull the two press on rushing to hammer everything out and in april of nineteen fifty three they published their findings in the journal nature but why exactly is the double helix so famous what's the big deal For one
00:35:47thing it was an elegant solution In fact it was the simple beauty of the two twisting corkscrews that convinced watson and crick that they were on the right track But most importantly dna's shape told watson and crick something vital about how it works Its form was its function
00:36:07to understand why that is you first need to know something else about the tinker torrey model they came up with When you look closely you can see that the base is remember those of the runs of the latter a c t and g always come in pairs They
00:36:23fit together like a puzzle pieces connecting two sides of the ladder A always goes with t c goes with g when dna replicates it first splits down the middle a and t cng they're separated basically the ladder get split in half but here's the key part because those
00:36:50bases always come in pairs No matter which side of the ladder you have the cells are able to figure out what the other half should be a's go with thi's sees go with cheese and then the same with the other side of the ladder In the end they've
00:37:08built to exact copies of the original ladder two strands of genetic code that's the reason watson and crick are so famous not just for discovering the shape of dna but because they realized that the shape revealed how dna worked As they said in their initial paper on dna
00:37:31with cheeky understatement It has not escaped our notice that the specific base pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a copying mechanism for the genetic material In the spring of nineteen fifty three linus pauling catches wind that the watson and crick variety act over in england might have scooped
00:37:53him He happens to be traveling to a conference in belgium in april and immediately schedules an emergency trip to cambridge Watson and crick must have been nervous as the great wizard of caltech entered their office that saturday morning and cap it's a critical eye over there twisting double
00:38:10corkscrew model but to pollens credit he handles the situation with grace quickly conceding that they've beaten him Losing like this stings him he's a proud man and a good scientist but the double helix is so elegant and make sense of so much data but he knows there right
00:38:30falling even helps promote watson and creeks discovery over the next few months giving their careers a huge boost Unfortunately watson and creeks relationship with the other characters in this story prove less collegial Things get downright prickly In fact watson and crick do site rosalynn franklin in their paper
00:38:50announcing the double helix but only briefly franklin and maurice wilkins also published their own paper on dna in the same issue of the same journal but for whatever reason probably a combination of wilkins retiring personality franklin's gender and the fact that watson and crick discovered how dna copies
00:39:09itself thie king's college crew fades from the world stage to add insult to injury watson publishes a book called the double helix in the nineteen sixties that paints a nasty portrait of franklin No one ever claimed that she was easy to work with but the book makes her
00:39:27look terrible he insists on referring to her as rosy throughout the nickname she hated and he makes disparaging comments about her clothes and lack of makeup It's july two thousand seventeen it's morning and the eagle pub in cambridge is not open yet back in two thousand three a
00:39:48blue plaque was placed on the outside of the building to commemorate its part in the discovery of dna It says it was here on february twenty eight nineteen fifty three that francis crick and james watson first announced their discovery of how dna carries genetic information Today though there's
00:40:09something else on the plaque a passing cambridge university linguist is one of the first to spot it takes a picture someone has either two faced or depending on your point of view corrected plaque next to watson and creeks name they've written two words in thick black ink across
00:40:28the bottom plus franklin story of the double helix it is an epic one full of conflict drama and deceit most people don't realize however that solving dna was just a prelude to another and in some ways bigger story way had finally nailed down what dna looked like and
00:40:49how it worked Now we had to figure out all that dna does how does it build creatures What does each jean do Luckily the next grand chapter in the saga of dna the human genome project was just around the corner and it would prove no less glorious no
00:41:10less controversial and no less messy Thie beginning of this episode we introduced you to ryan eberhard he sat down with leah sutherland a producer on this show my name is ryan never hard on the spp and head of product it's super critter hey leah how are you I'm
00:41:29doing pretty well How are you I'm great Did you have a favorite science class in school My favorite class and university was actually introduction of physics was taught by a legendary physics professor who wrote our textbooks name was hugh young and he opened every lecture with shakespeare quote
00:41:48and he was just this incredibly dynamic man with an infectious love for the study physics do you think it was his energy and his love for it that made you enjoy it I think it wass yeah i think it was it's often thought falsely that the study of
00:42:06mathematics and science is passionless and and wrote but actually some of the most passionate people i've met have been from the sciences There is a nice kind of like artistry and philosophy behind science and mathematics that i think it's looked over a lot There is there is a
00:42:20musician so often love mathematics actually in future episodes of american innovations we turn genetic and mathematical concepts into music So listen up for that you can learn more right now on how a zip recruiter is changing the game Their technology learns from feedback to better understand what kind
00:42:39of candidate you're looking for It's so effective that eighty percent of employers who post on soup recruiter get a quality candidate through the site within the first day and now our listeners to try it for free that's right free Just go to zip recruiter dot com slash aye
00:42:54aye that's super critter dot com slash hey i one more time zip recruiter dot com slash k i zip recruiter the smartest way i hope you enjoyed this episode of american innovations If you did please do give us a five star review and tell your friends to subscribe
00:43:18were available on apple podcast stitcher npr one and every major listening app as well as at one dory dot com if you love the info you heard the author of this siri's sam keen has several wonderful books about dna neuroscience and more His book on dna is called
00:43:37the violinist thumb and it's available wherever books or e books are sold you can learn more about his books on his website sam keen dot com or you can follow the links in the show notes and a quick note about these historical recreations you've been hearing in most
00:43:53cases we can't know exactly what was said but these scenes air based on real historical research If you're listening on a smart phone tap or swipe over the cover art of this podcast you'll find the episode notes including some details you may have missed You also so find
00:44:10some offers from our sponsors Please support our show by supporting that and thank you american innovations is hosted by me stephen johnson for more information on my books on innovation like how we got to now and wonderland you can visit my website at steven berlin johnson dot com
00:44:30sound design on this episode is by bay area sound This episode is written by sam keen producer is george lavender executive produced by marshall louis for wondering

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