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DNA Pioneer James Watson Puts Nobel Medal Up for Sale

 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press
Image: Watson's Nobel medal
The 1962 Nobel Prize medal that was awarded to James Watson for his role in discovering DNA's double helix is going on the auction block on Dec. 4.Christie's

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The 1962 Nobel Prize that biologist James Watson won for his role in the discovery of the structure of DNA is going on the auction block. The auctioneer says the gold medal could bring $2.5 million to $3.5 million on Dec. 4. Christie's says it's the first Nobel medal to be offered at auction by a living recipient.

Watson made the 1953 discovery with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. He says part of the proceeds will go to the University of Chicago, Clare College Cambridge, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island Land Trust and other charities. The auction also includes several Watson papers. Handwritten notes for his acceptance speech are estimated at $300,000 to $400,000. Crick's Nobel medal sold at Heritage Auctions for $2.2 million last year. Crick died in 2004.

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