New Rochelle, NY, April 1, 2013—Sixty years ago this month the foundation stone of the global biotechnology industry was laid, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). For on April 25 1953, Nature published a paper by James Watson and Francis Crick that began with the simple sentence: “We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid,” i.e., how DNA is built, according to the April 1 issue of GEN.

“The paper’s second sentence, ‘This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest,’ is remarkably prophetic yet somewhat understated,” says John Sterling, Editor in Chief, GEN. “In essence, Watson and Crick’s achievement set the stage for everything that was to happen in the biological sciences over the next six decades, including the advent of the bioindustry. That’s why we included a special DNA@60 section in our April 1 issue.”

Six well-experienced scientists contributed to the special section. Each comes with a unique perspective on DNA’s impact on biological research:

Dr. Raymond Gosling, who worked with Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin, recounts those early DNA research activities

Dr. Henry Erlich, who carried out the first PCR studies with Kary Mullis and a number of other scientists at Cetus Corp., writes about current and future trends in PCR 

Dr. Rashid Bashir describes the outlook for nano-based nextgen sequencing tools

Dr. Ian Dunham takes a close look at the ENCODE public research consortium

Dr. Richard Stein writes about how epigenetics will change the disease-treatment paradigm on a global basis in the decades ahead

Dr. Alan Templeton illustrates how DNA studies are constantly modifying and drastically altering our perceptions of human evolution and how our species came to populate most of the earth

“There would be no biotechnology without a deep understanding of DNA’s structure and function,” continued Sterling. “There also would be no GEN. We are delighted to play our part in commemorating this seminal event in the history of science.”

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