Sunday, March 11, 2012

A little unorthodox?

Perhaps some of you may have already been aware, but this is news to me.. Francis Crick was high under the influence of LSD when he discovered the structure of the double helix DNA.
It is interesting, very interesting to read about one of the greatest discoveries of all time - a discovery that has opened endless possibilities allowing great progress in biology - being discovered as a result of acid. Although I do not condone doing LSD, Crick did and expressed that it allowed him to access his brain in ways that people who don't normally do acid wouldn't otherwise be able to.

"'Dick Kemp told me he met Francis Crick at Cambridge. Crick had told him that some Cambridge academics used LSD in tiny amounts as a thinking tool, to liberate them from preconceptions and let their genius wander freely to new ideas. Crick told him he had perceived the double-helix shape while on LSD.' "

article about double helix discovery under LSD here

Now you shouldn't go taking acid before your biology exams following Crick's example, but it is quite ironic to see how something very harmful and bad for you, has also led to such an important scientific/medical discovery.


  1. I'm not sure if you read the post on accidental discoveries in our blog, but coincidentally LSD was yet another accidental invention. Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann was working with Lysergic acid derivatives to develop a respiratory and circulatory stimulant when he first synthesized Lysergic acid diethyl amide. In the process of purification he accidentally absorbed some of the acid through his fingertips and was quickly overcome by a "not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination." He later tested the substance in larger doses and eventually was sold under the name Delysid' "to elicit release of repressed material and provide mental relaxation, particularly in anxiety states and obsessional neuroses." And for Dr. Crick up there, LSD was also used by psychiatrists, "to gain an insight into the world of ideas and sensations of mental patients." Pretty interesting huh?