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Francis Crick, 1916-2004

Francis Crick, one of the co-discoverers of the DNA double helix and one of my scientific idols, died yesterday of colon cancer. There's a short appreciation at Nature.com, including the introduction to one of the most important scientific papers of the 20th century: "We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest."

He was, of course, a fellow of the Royal Society and a Nobel laureate. His contribution to the current revolution in biology was immense; the discovery came in 1953 at Cambridge University, with James Watson, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin.

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