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An authoritative history of the race to unravel DNA's structure, by one of our most prominent medical historians.James Watson and Francis Crick's 1953 discovery of the double helix structure of DNA is the foundation of virtually every advance in our modern understanding of genetics and molecular biology. But how did Watson and Crick do it -- and why were they the ones who succeeded?In truth, the discovery of DNA's structure is the story of five towering minds in pursuit of the advancement of science, and for almost all of them, the prospect of fame and immortality: Watson, Crick, Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, and Linus Pauling. Each was fascinating and brilliant, with strong personalities that often clashed. Howard Markel skillfully re-creates the intense intellectual journey, and fraught personal relationships, that ultimately led to a spectacular breakthrough.

About the Author

Howard Markel

Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author, is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. He also holds professorial appointments in Psychiatry, Public Health, History, English Literature and Language, and Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 23, 1960 and grew up in Oak Park and Southfield, Michigan. Educated at the University of Michigan (A.B., 1982, summa cum laude; M.D., 1986, cum laude) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Hospital (Intern, Resident and Fellow in General Pediatrics, 1986-1993 and Ph.D, in the History of Medicine, Science and Technology, 1994) , he joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1993.A critically acclaimed social and cultural historian of medicine, Dr. Markel is the author, co-author, or co-editor of ten books including the award winning Quarantine! East European Jewish Immigrants and the New York City Epidemics of 1892 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997; paperback, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999) and When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America Since 1900 and the Fears They Have Unleashed (Pantheon Books/Alfred A. Knopf, 2004; paperback Vintage/Random House, 2005) . His most recent book, An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine (Pantheon Books/Alfred A. Knopf) was published in July, 2011 and was a New York Times Best Seller, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller, an ABA IndieBound Best Seller, and a New York Times Book Review "Editor's Choice".From 2005 to 2006, Professor Markel served as a historical consultant on pandemic influenza preparedness planning for the United States Department of Defense. From 2006 to the present, he serves as the principal historical consultant on pandemic preparedness for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From late April 2009 to February 2011, served as a member of the CDC Director's "Novel A/H1N1 Influenza Team B", a real-time think tank of experts charged with evaluating the federal government's influenza policies on a daily basis during the outbreak. In collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he is Editor-in Chief of The 1918-1919 American Influenza Pandemic: A Digital Encyclopedia and Archive. Funded by grants and contracts from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the CDC, the digital encyclopedia is at www.influenzaarchive.org. Working with the CDC and a team of historians at the Center for the History of Medicine, Professor Markel currently directs a research team of medical historians at work on documenting the social history of the 2009 H1N1 Influenza pandemic. The second edition of the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic: A Digital Encyclopedia and Archi

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