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    [Francis H. C. Crick]. Crick's Personal Copy of The Dictionary of Roses in Colour with One Page of Handwritten Notes. Written by S. Millar Gault and Patrick M. Synge and published The Royal Horticultural Society and The Royal National Rose Society, 1971. First edition. 4to, 191 pages. This is the personal copy of the Dictionary belonging to celebrated scientist and Nobel laureate, Francis H. C. Crick. Found on an 8.5" x 10.5" sheet of paper, Crick, himself a dedicated garden, has written a list of "Roses one would like to have" followed by the names of seventeen species of roses. Of note is the formula for a chemical compound, handwritten in ink, found on the verso.

    Dr. Francis Harry Compton Crick (1916-2004) originally pursued a career in physics, but his studies were derailed during the Second World War when a German bomb landed in his laboratory, destroying his equipment. He spent the remainder of the war in the employ of the British Admiralty designing acoustic and magnetic mines. In 1947, with a waning interest in physics, he embarked on the study of molecular biology. Having no knowledge of biology or organic chemistry, he had to begin from scratch, spending the first few years familiarizing himself with the subject. He met James D. Watson, a 23 year old American postdoctoral zoologist with a background in genetics, in 1951 and the two discovered they shared a common goal of solving the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. The pair successfully photographed a strand of DNA in March 1953 using a technique called X-ray crystallography. For their discovery, they, along with Maurice Wilkins, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962. In his later career, Crick became interested in the origin of the genetic code, how genes controlled the processes of cell division, cell differentiation, and organ growth, and the origin of protein synthesis.


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    April, 2013
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