In 1953, English biologist Francis Crick wrote a letter to his 12-year-old son Michael, describing a discovery he and his colleague had recently made.
In the letter, Crick sketches what is now perhaps one of the most famous scientific diagrams in world—the structure of DNA
Michael Crick put that letter up for auction on April 10 with Christie’s in New York City. It sold for $5.3 million to an anonymous buyer who bid over the phone, according to news reports. With additional fees, the total came to just over $6 million.
Half the proceeds will go to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, where Francis Crick, who died in 2008, was a professor.
It beat out a letter written by Abraham Lincoln, that sold in 2008 for $3.4 million, including fees, according to U.K. paper The Guardian.
Francis Crick was great. His explanation to his son exhibits beautiful simplicity. I would also like to register my tribute to his colleague Rosemary Franklin.
SHE WAS NOT NOMINATED BY ANY ONE
Mouthful and awkward name to say;
The basis of the book of life:
Simpler to refer to it as DNA.
A complex polymer;
Constituted of molecules of Sugar;
Phosphate, and four nitrogenous bases.
A – Adenine, T – Thymine,
G – Gaunine and C – Cytocin;
Always bonding in;
The backbone of sugar and phosphate;
Forming a sequence of specific pairs;
G-C, T-A, C-G, A-T and T-A,
So on and on and on;
Locking in to the double helix structure;
Forming the code of life together;
Passing it down from one generation to the other,
The thoughts for the secret of life;
Originated from Erwin Schrödinger’s mind.
Physics can solve riddles in biological ‘trade’;
He most emphatically said.
Two of the Nobel laureates were physicists;
Wilkins was very astute;
He had DNA crystals to diffract;
To apply X-ray crystallography, to investigate.
Crick knew what diffraction patterns helices make;
Watson, he was a thorough bred zoologist;
He figured out how the bases should pair;
Along, the backbone to set.
Alas! One must not forget;
The famous x-ray “photograph 51”;
Taken by one Rosalind Franklin;
Provided the clear proof;
The double helix was the truth;
It’s not in dispute.
For her no reward; she died in 1958.