Seventy years ago today, on April 25, Watson and Crick published their paper about the double helix structure of DNA — “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid”. That paper probably contains the best closing line of any scientific paper anywhere: “It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material”.

It also hadn’t escaped the notice of Rosalind Franklin, the person who led the actual X-ray diffraction experiments that made this structure evident (which Watson and Crick were shown without her permission). But that’s another story.

Interestingly, exactly eight years later, on April 25, the first patent for a fully integrated circuit was issued to Robert Noyce. Perhaps one day our future robot overlords will look on this coincidence with amusement.

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