The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and the Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

Hardcover | June 16, 2014

byKersten T. Hall

not yet rated|write a review
Sir Isaac Newton once declared that his momentous discoveries were only made thanks to having "stood on the shoulders of giants". The same might also be said of the scientists James Watson and Francis Crick. Their discovery of the structure of DNA was, without doubt, one of the biggestscientific landmarks in history and, thanks largely to the success of Watson's best-selling memoir "The Double Helix", there might seem to be little new to say about this story. But much remains to be said about the particular "giants" on whose shoulders Watson and Crick stood. Of these, the crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, whose famous X-ray diffraction photograph known as "Photo 51" provided Watson and Crick with a vital clue, is now well recognised. Far less wellknown is the physicist William T. Astbury who, working at Leeds in the 1930s on the structure of wool for the local textile industry, pioneered the use of X-ray crystallography to study biological fibres. In so doing, he not only made the very first studies of the structure of DNA culminating in aphoto almost identical to Franklin's "Photo 51", but also founded the new science of "molecular biology". Yet whilst Watson and Crick won the Nobel Prize, Astbury has largely been forgotten. The Man in the Monkeynut Coat tells the story of this neglected pioneer, showing not only how it was thanks to him that Watson and Crick were not left empty-handed, but also how his ideas transformed biology leavinga legacy which is still felt today.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$32.54 online
$42.00 list price (save 22%)
Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

Sir Isaac Newton once declared that his momentous discoveries were only made thanks to having "stood on the shoulders of giants". The same might also be said of the scientists James Watson and Francis Crick. Their discovery of the structure of DNA was, without doubt, one of the biggestscientific landmarks in history and, thanks largely...

Kersten Hall graduated from St. Anne's College, Oxford, with BA Honours in Biochemistry before completing a PhD at the University of Leeds on the regulation of human genes by viruses. He then worked as a research fellow in molecular biology in the School of Medicine, University of Leeds. During this time he cultivated a growing intere...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:June 16, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198704593

ISBN - 13:9780198704591

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and the Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words2. Germany Has Much to Teach us3. A Keen Young Man4. A Molecular Centipede5. The X-Ray Vatican6. A Pile of Pennies7. Avery's Bombshell8. Nunc Dimittis9. One Grand Leap ... Too Far10. The Road Not Taken11. The Man in the Monkeynut Coat

Editorial Reviews

"The storyline works very well and I was gripped from the beginning to the end of the book. The author describes numerous stories that capture the human interest aspects of doing science, with its pains and its jubilations." --John R. Helliwell, University of Manchester