There is no scientific study more vital to man than the study of his own brain. Our entire view of the universe depends on it.

— Francis Crick

The most unconventional Francis Crick quotes that are little-known but priceless

Moreover the incorporation requires the same components needed for protein synthesis, and is inhibited by the same inhibitors. Thus the system is most unlikely to be a complete artefact and is very probably closely related to genuine protein synthesis.

76

Unfortunately it makes the unambiguous determination of triplets by these methods much more difficult than would be the case if there were only one triplet for each amino acid.

62

A comparison between the triplets tentatively deduced by these methods with the changes in amino acid sequence produced by mutation shows a fair measure of agreement.

60

It is essential to understand our brains in some detail if we are to assess correctly our place in this vast and complicated universe we see all around us.

56

Attempts have been made from a study of the changes produced by mutation to obtain the relative order of the bases within various triplets, but my own view is that these are premature until there is more extensive and more reliable data on the composition of the triplets.

56

The balance of evidence both from the cell-free system and from the study of mutation, suggests that this does not occur at random, and that triplets coding the same amino acid may well be rather similar.

55

It has yet to be shown by direct biochemical methods, as opposed to the indirect genetic evidence mentioned earlier, that the code is indeed a triplet code.

54

You can do reverse engineering, but you can’t do reverse hacking.

50

The meaning of this observation is unclear, but it raises the unfortunate possibility of ambiguous triplets; that is, triplets which may code more than one amino acid. However one would certainly expect such triplets to be in a minority.

50

A final proof of our ideas can only be obtained by detailed studies on the alterations produced in the amino acid sequence of a protein by mutations of the type discussed here.

50

It now seems certain that the amino acid sequence of any protein is determined by the sequence of bases in some region of a particular nucleic acid molecule.

48

It would appear that the number of nonsense triplets is rather low, since we only occasionally come across them. However this conclusion is less secure than our other deductions about the general nature of the genetic code.

48

About Francis Crick

Quotes 73 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

It now seems very likely that many of the 64 triplets, possibly most of them, may code one amino acid or another, and that in general several distinct triplets may code one amino acid.

48

Avoid the temptation to work so hard that there is no time left for serious thinking.

46

The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he'll fight and die for it.

46

The ultimate aim of the modern movement in biology is in fact to explain all biology in terms of physics and chemistry.

34

Christianity may be OK between consenting adults in private but should not be taught to young children.

31

Since I essentially knew nothing, I had an almost completely free choice.

30

My own prejudices are exactly the opposite of the functionalists': "If you want to understand function, study structure".

29

In the fullness of time, educated people will believe there is no soul independent of the body, and hence no life after death.

22

It seems likely that most if not all the genetic information in any organism is carried by nucleic acid - usually by DNA, although certain small viruses use RNA as their genetic material.

18

There is no form of prose more difficult to understand and more tedious to read than the average scientific paper.

16

Consciousness is somehow a by-product of the simultaneous, high frequency firing of neurons in different parts of the brain. It's the meshing of these frequencies that generates consciousness, just as tones from individual instruments produce the rich, complex, & seamless sounds of a symphony orchestra

16

Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.

16

An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.

15

I think she [Rosalind Franklin] was a good experimentalist but certainly not of the first rank. She was simply not in the same class as Eigen or Bragg or Pauling, nor was she as good as Dorothy Hodgkin. She did not even select DNA to study. It was given to her. Her theoretical crystallography was very average.

10

A busy life is a wasted life.

10

The major credit I think Jim and I deserve is for selecting the right problem and sticking to it. It's true that by blundering about we stumbled on gold, but the fact remains that we were looking for gold.

8

You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.

7

When you start in science, you are brainwashed into believing how careful you must be, and how difficult it is to discover things. There's something that might be called the 'graduate student syndrome'; graduate students hardly believe they can make a discovery.

6

In my experience most mathematicians are intellectually lazy and especially dislike reading experimental papers. He seemed to have very strong biological intuitions but unfortunately of negative sign.

5

It is not easy to convey, unless one has experienced it, the dramatic feeling of sudden enlightenment that floods the mind when the right idea finally clinches into place.

5

While Occam's razor is a useful tool in the physical sciences, it can be a very dangerous implement in biology. It is thus very rash to use simplicity and elegance as a guide in biological research.

4

How is the base sequence, divided into codons? There is nothing in the backbone of the nucleic acid, which is perfectly regular, to show us how to group the bases into codons.

4

Jim and I hit it off immediately, partly because our interests were astonishingly similar and partly, I suspect, because a certain youthful arrogance, a ruthlessness, an impatience with sloppy thinking can naturally to both of us.

4

If poly A is added to poly U, to form a double or triple helix, the combination is inactive.

4

We are sometimes asked what the result would be if we put four +'s in one gene.

To answer this my colleagues have recently put together not merely four but six +'s.

4

Almost all aspects of life are engineered at the molecular level, and without understanding molecules we can only have a very sketchy understanding of life itself.

3

For simplicity one can think of the + class as having one extra base at some point or other in the genetic message and the - class as having one too few.

3

I also suspect that many workers in this field [molecular biology] and related fields have been strongly motivated by the desire, rarely actually expressed, to refute vitalism.

3

This seems highly likely, especially as it has been shown that in several systems mutations affecting the same amino acid are extremely near together on the genetic map.

3

If the code does indeed have some logical foundation then it is legitimate to consider all the evidence, both good and bad, in any attempt to deduce it.

2

What could be more foolish than to base one's entire view of life on ideas that, however plausible at the time, now appear to be quite erroneous? And what would be more important than to find our true place in the universe by removing one by one these unfortunate vestiges of earlier beliefs?

2

Anybody who believes that the earth is less than 10,000 years old needs psychiatric help.

1

We've discovered the secret of life.

1

Chance is the only source of true novelty.

0

Exploratory research is really like working in a fog.

You don't know where you're going. You're just groping. Then people learn about it afterwards and think how straightforward it was.

0

If revealed religions have revealed anything it is that they are usually wrong.

0

It is notoriously difficult to define the word living.

0
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