Genes, Girls and Gamow

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In 1953 Watson and Crick discovered the double helical structure of DNA and Watson’s personal account of the discovery, The Double Helix, was published in 1968. Genes, Girls and Gamow is also autobiographical, covering the period from when The Double Helix ends, in 1953, to a few years later, and ending with a Postscript bringing the story up to date. Here is Watson adjusting to new-found fame, carrying out tantalizing experiments on the role of RNA in biology, and falling in love. The book is enlivened with copies of handwritten letters from the larger than life character George Gamow, who had made significant contributions to physics but became intrigued by genes, RNA and the elusive genetic code. This is a tale of heartbreak, scientific excitement and ambition, laced with travelogue and ’50s atmosphere.

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