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Feb 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 4)

Crick Progeny Follow Their Own Passions

Descendants of Nobel Laureate Make Their Marks in Computer Puzzles and Games, and Art

  • Do famous scientists spawn like-minded offspring? For Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA and Nobel laureate, the answer is partially true. His son Michael Crick studied neuroscience at Harvard Medical School in the 1960s but sidetracked into computer science.

    Today Michael and his wife Barbara, based in Bellevue, WA, create Cricklers—puzzles that run daily in the online editions of the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, and 40 smaller newspapers. Cricklers challenge players in diverse topics such as current news events, vocabulary, geography, and crosswords. Michael also helped to design iconic computer games like John Madden Football and WordZap.

    Michael’s daughter Kindra Crick graduated from Princeton University in 1998 with a degree in molecular biology. She, too, took a detour to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Now she’s a full-time artist working in Portland, OR.

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MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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