June 6, 1966

Molecular Biology of the Gene

Author Affiliations



by J. D. Watson, 494 pp, with illus, $10, New York: W. A. Benjamin, Inc., 1965.

JAMA. 1966;196(10):920. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100230164053

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This book clearly establishes that a text intended for undergraduate biology need not shy from presenting the ideas and data that are too frequently reserved for intermediate or even advanced treatments. Its splendid success in this effort lies in the deft handling of two themes of molecular biology: the rigor of the disciplines of chemistry and physics; and the excitement of deciphering the nature and intimate functioning of the nucleic acids by "biologic" (genetic) methods. With awe at the rate of accumulation of biological knowledge do we realize how appropriate, in a treatment of genetic biology, is a chapter on "The Importance of Weak Chemical Interactions." The significance of hydrogen bonding and van der Waals forces for intracellular activities is contrasted to our more usual view of cell function described in terms of covalent bonding. Another of the objectives of the author, also successfully accomplished, is to demonstrate that it

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