OFFPRINTS OF ALL THREE PARTS OF THE GENETIC CODE, 1962-66, ONE INSCRIBED BY MARSHALL NIRENBERG AND TWO SIGNED BY FRANCIS CRICK
CRICK, Francis and NIRENBERG, Marshall W. The Genetic Code. San Francisco, California: W.H. Freeman, 1962-66. Three offprints. Very thin folio (8-1/2 by 11 inches), staple-bound as issued, original self-wrappers; pp. 8, 13, 7. Housed in custom half calf clamshell box. $9500.
First offprint editions of a three-part article on DNA by Francis Crick and Marshall Nirenberg originally published in Scientific American, with Parts I and III signed by Francis Crick and Part II inscribed: "with best wishes Marshall Nirenberg."
The three offprints in this collection are: "The Genetic Code" (October 1962); "The Genetic Code: II" (March 1963), and "The Genetic Code: III" (October 1966). Despite its status as a popular science magazine, Scientific American's 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 offprints were printed from a three-part article authored by Crick and his fellow biochemist and geneticist, Marshall Nirenberg, meant to expand on the idea of DNA as a hereditary agent and discuss information and theories such as how bases determine the order of amino acids in a protein; the nature of encoding in the manufacture of proteins; and the conversion of DNA's four-letter language into the 20-letter language of proteins. While intended for a mainstream audience, Crick's and Nirenberg's writings attracted the notice of their colleagues in the field and scientists such as Pauling wrote to Crick with comments and even criticism. Part II with accession stamp ("JUN 1 1967"), stamp of Baltimore's Southern High School (SHS) library to the front wrapper, and stamp of William A. Kulick also of SHS, who wrote to various prominent scientists requesting further information about their accomplishments—likely acquiring this inscribed offprint in the process. Part II neatly hole-punched for binder.
Very nearly fine condition.