this date, Nature published the paper you are reading.
According to science historian Victor McElheny of the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, the publication of this paper helped change how scientists
approached biology. Increasingly in the 1950s, biologists were working
out the fundamental mechanisms of life—an undertaking that involved
figuring out how genetic information is stored and transmitted. The discovery
of the double-helix structure of DNA gave momentum to this kind of work.
Historians wonder how the timing of the DNA race affected its outcome.
After years of being diverted by the war effort, scientists were able
to focus more on problems such as those affecting human health. Yet, in
the United States, many research fields were threatened by a curb on the
free exchange of ideas. During the McCarthy era in the early 1950s, the
U.S. State Department denied American researcher Linus
Pauling a passport to travel internationally. Some think Pauling might
have beaten Watson and Crick to the punch if Paulings ability to
travel had not been hampered.