The Nobel laureate David Hubel commented somewhere that reading most modern scientific papers was like chewing sawdust. Certainly it is rare nowadays to see the naked honesty of Watson and Crick’s classic opening paragraphs, or the melody not being drowned out by the the metrical percussion.
WE wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (D.N.A.). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest [emphasis added].
A structure for nucleic acid has already been proposed by Pauling and Corey1. They kindly made their manuscript available to us in advance of publication. Their model consists of three intertwined chains, with the phosphates near the fibre axis, and the bases on the outside. In our opinion, this structure is unsatisfactory for two reasons : (1) We believe that the material which gives the X-ray diagrams is the salt, not the free acid. Without the acidic hydrogen atoms it is not clear what forces would hold the structure together, especially as the negatively charged phosphates near the axis will repel each other. (2) Some of the van der Waals distances appear to be too small.
And then there is that immortal understated penultimate paragraph.
It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.
Well here is another one that impresses me even if I can claim no expertise in this domain. It is from the prestigious journal Physical Review, is 27 words in length, with one number, one equation and one reference. Via Fermat’s Library @fermatslibrary