What Is Elegance in Science?

In 1957, a few years after Francis Crick co-discovered the DNA double helix and a few years before he co-won a Nobel Prize for doing so, he published a paper on the genetic provenance of amino acids, the organic compounds that make proteins, and therefore life, possible. It was already known that the four chemical bases of DNA coded for the twenty standard amino acids. What wasn’t yet known was whether DNA had the equivalent of punctuation—points along its strands that demarcated where...

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