Ball and spoke model of DNA.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The structure of DNA was discovered by Francis Crick (b 1916) and James Dewey Watson (b 1928) whilst working in the Medical Research Council Unit at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England. In 1953 they constructed a molecular model of the complex genetic material deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Later research on the nucleic acids led to far-reaching discoveries concerning the genetic code. They were awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine and physiology in 1962.