Here are 20 surprising facts that you didn’t know about… DNA. Read the top 5 from Discovery Magazine here:

1 Sorry, Jimmy: James Watson and Francis Crick did not discover DNA. That honor goes to Swiss biochemist Friedrich Miescher, who in 1869 found the molecule in the nuclei of white blood cells and called it nuclein.

2 Nor did they figure out that DNA is our genetic blueprint; bacteriologist Oswald Avery and his colleagues did that in the early 1940s.

3 What Watson and Crick did do, in 1953, was decipher the double-helix structure of DNA. Their discovery ran as a single-page paper in Nature.

4 Phosphorus is a key component of DNA, but late last year a team of NASA scientists published a controversial study reporting that they had found a bacterium that could use arsenic instead. “What else can life do that we haven’t seen yet?” wondered lead researcher Felisa Wolfe-Simon.

5 Don’t try this at home: If uncoiled, the DNA in all the cells in your body would stretch 10 billion miles—from here to Pluto and back.


Read the rest of the article here.