Letter | Published:

Possible Simplified Structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid


ALTHOUGH the Watson-Crick model1,2 provides a plausible explanation of the structure and replication of deoxyribonucleic acid, there remains one feature of it which, in our opionion, is unnecessarily complex. In the classical model two complementary chains of nucleic acid are intertwined. Each has a fixed order of base sequence such that base pairing between adenine-thymine and cytosine-guanine occurs along the double helix. During replication the two chains uncoil and each acts as a template for the synthesis of the other.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Watson, J. D., and Crick, F. H. C., Nature, 171, 737, 964 (1953).

  2. 2

    Perutz, M. F., Endeavour, 17, 190 (1958).

  3. 3

    Donohue, J., and Stent, G. S., Proc. U.S. Nat. Acad. Sci., 42, 734 (1956).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.