70 years ago Today, on the 25th of April 1953, an incredibly important discovery was published in England.

70 years ago Today, on the 25th of April 1953, an incredibly important discovery was published in England. The structure of DNA was first described. Two Cambridge University scientists published their answer to how living things reproduced. In an article published in Nature magazine, American James D Watson and Englishman Francis Crick described the structure of a chemical called deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. Their incredible achievement was recognized in 1962 when they received the Nobel Prize for Physiology.

Francis Harry Compton Crick was an English molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist. He, James Watson, Rosalind Franklin, and Maurice Wilkins played crucial roles in deciphering the helical structure of the DNA molecule. Crick and Watson’s paper in Nature in 1953 laid the groundwork for understanding DNA structure and functions. Together with Maurice Wilkins, they were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”

Prior to publication In February 1953, a jubilant Francis Crick walked into The Eagle in Cambridge and proclaimed he and James Watson had “found the secret of life”. The Grade II-listed pub also contains a ceiling covered in the signatures of Allied pilots during World War Two. Owner Greene King said the “minor” works would help preserve the building “for generations to come”. Further Developments in DNA led to the first used in forensic science to convict in1988 and has become a reliable to convict as well as to not lead to conviction providing greater clarity on cases ever since.

Forensic scientists can use DNA in blood, semen, skin, saliva or hair found at a crime scene to identify a matching DNA of an individual, such as a perpetrator. This process is formally termed DNA profiling, also called DNA fingerprinting. In DNA profiling, the lengths of variable sections of repetitive DNA, such as short tandem repeats and minisatellites, are compared between people. This method is usually an extremely reliable technique for identifying a matching DNA. However, identification can be complicated if the scene is contaminated with DNA from several people. DNA profiling was developed in 1984 by British geneticist Sir Alec Jeffreys and first used in forensic science to convict Colin Pitchfork in the 1988 Enderby murders case.