Short Fiction: Taking Down the Cameras

This was the day I’d always dreamed of, since that first afternoon I saw those spycams on their spindly metal rods posing over our traffic signals. Only a few appeared at first but as time moved on, they began to multiply like fleas at every traffic stop. I fumed every day, even sped past those electronic signposts screaming “Speed Limit Exceeded”, just to be contrary. Maybe it was cowardice not acting on our frustrations sooner, but the generations pass, new voices arise with the balls of the young, and I was proud to be invited to stand with my grandson as we tossed a tow cable around the spycam’s neck and yanked hard.

April 25 is reserved to Francis Crick, James Watson & Rosalind Franklin

Scents of Science

On this day 1953 Francis Crick, James Watson & Rosalind Franklin’s discovery of the double helix structure of DNA is published in “Nature” magazine.

American biologist James Watson and British physicist Francis Crick came up with their famous model of the DNA double helix. They were the first to cross the finish line in this scientific “race,” with others such as Linus Pauling (who discovered protein secondary structure) also trying to find the correct model. Rather than carrying out new experiments in the lab, Watson and Crick mostly collected and analyzed existing pieces of data, putting them together in new and insightful ways.

Some of their most crucial clues to DNA’s structure came from Rosalind Franklin, a chemist working in the lab of physicist Maurice Wilkins. Franklin was an expert in a powerful technique for determining the structure of molecules, known as X-ray crystallography. When the crystallized form of a…

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