The Double Helix Historical Context

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Watson was teaching at Harvard University when he began to compile the notes, letters, scientific data, and photographs that would become the controversial bestseller, The Double Helix. It was the mid-1960s, and the United States was involved in an unpopular war in Southeast Asia. Watson was writing about events that occurred in England in the early 1950s, when many European countries were still recovering from the devastating effects of World War II. During the years between the end of the Second World War and the middle of the Vietnam War, remarkable advances occurred in many areas of science and medicine: Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio, Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant, Frederick Sanger discovered the molecular structure of insulin, the birth control pill was developed, and the first commercial nuclear power plants opened in America. Marshall Nirenberg' s cracking of the genetic code...

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This section contains 575 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Double Helix Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
The Double Helix from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.