FOUR SCIENTIFIC OFFPRINTS ON DNA, EACH SIGNED BY FRANCIS CRICK
CRICK, Francis. Four Scientific American offprints signed. San Francisco, California: W.H. Freeman, 1954-66. Four offprints. Very thin folio (8-1/2 by 11 inches), staple-bound as issued, original self-wrappers; pp. 8, 9, 10, and 9. Housed in custom half calf clamshell box. $10,500.
First offprint editions of four articles on DNA by Francis Crick originally published in Scientific American, each signed on the front wrapper by Francis Crick, with The Structure of the Hereditary Material additionally signed on the first page of text.
The four offprints in this collection are: "The Structure of the Hereditary Material" (originally published in Scientific American in October 1954); "Nucleic Acids" (September 1957); "The Genetic Code" (October 1962); and "The Genetic Code: III" (October 1966). While Scientific American is occasionally denigrated due to its status as a popular science magazine, its long list of distinguished contributors could not be more illustrious. While Crick's landmark discovery of the structure of DNA was published in Nature, he often turned to Scientific American to work through the many questions surrounding his original breakthrough. These four offprints were printed from articles meant to expand on the idea of DNA as a hereditary agent and discuss information and theories such as the investigations leading to the discovery of DNA; the physical structure of nucleic acids; how bases determine the order of amino acids in a protein; and the conversion of DNA's four-letter language into the 20-letter language of proteins. While intended for a mainstream audience, Crick's writing attracted the notice of his colleagues in the field and scientists such as Pauling wrote to him with comments and even criticism. In fact, Crick altered his theory of hydrogen bonding in nucleobases based on Pauling's citation of his own work.