60 years ago this month, Francis Crick changed the logic of Biology

For all you History of Biology and the Gene buffs, this article [attached] is a must-read.

Sept 2o17 marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most significant lectures in the history of biology; it was given on 19 September 1957 by Francis Crick as part of a Society for Experimental Biology symposium on the Biological Replication of Macromolecules, held at University College London. Originally titled `Protein synthesis,’ the title changed to `On protein synthesis’ when it was written up for publication the following year. The lecture went much further than its title suggested: as Crick pointed out in the opening paragraph, he also addressed `the other central problems of molecular biology –– those of gene action and nucleic acid synthesis.’ This talk represented remarkable insight and predictions of the future in the field of molecular biology (even before it was defined as “a research field”).

Today Crick’s talk is often called the `central dogma’ lecture, because it was here that he first publicly presented this frequently misunderstood concept. While this was highly significant, the content of the lecture was even richer –– it also saw Crick outline his view of the nature of life and of genetic information and the source of protein folding as well as making two bold and spectacularly accurate predictions: [a] that there must exist a small `adaptor’ molecule {now known as transfer-RNA (tRNA)] that could bring amino acids to the site of protein synthesis and [b] that, in the future, scientists would be able to explore rich evolutionary sources of information by comparing sequence data. In this one brief lecture, Crick profoundly influenced how we think. In The Eighth Day of Creation, journalist Horace Judson went so far as to claim that on that day 60 years ago, Crick “permanently altered the logic of biology [2].”

PloS Biol Sept 2o17; 15: e2003243.

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