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Francis Crick, who along with James Watson discovered the double helix structure of DNA in 1953, died Wednesday night at the age of 88, as reported by the New York Times.

British-born Crick won the Nobel Prize for the work on DNA’s structure, done with Watson at Cambridge University. This work, and subsequent research doen by Crick, ushered in the modern era of molecular biology. He had been living in La Jolla, CA, where he was a distinguished research professor and former president of the Salk Institute in San Diego. His recent research focused on neurobiology, specifically the nature of consciousness.

According to a Reuters report (here on CNN.com) Watson issued a statement from his office at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York: “I will always remember Francis for his extraordinarily focused intelligence and for the many ways he showed me kindness and developed my self-confidence,” Watson said.

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