Special Section: THE CELL: Unraveling the Double Helix and the Secret of Life

Wildly excited, two men dashed out of a side door of Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory, cut across Free School Lane and ducked into the Eagle, a pub where generations of Cambridge scientists have met to gossip about experiments and celebrate triumphs. Over drinks, James D. Watson, then 24, and Francis Crick, 36, talked excitedly, Crick's booming voice damping out conversations among other Eagle patrons. When friends stopped to ask what the commotion was all about. Crick did not mince words. "We," he announced exultantly, "have...

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