Onto the scene, from all different directions, came Wilkins and Franklin, then Watson and Crick. Though their scientific backgrounds were diverse, all four recognized that understanding how the parts of a DNA molecule fit together would provide important information about the way life works. Each hoped to be part of the team that solved the puzzle first. Wilkins and Franklin worked together at the University of London, and Crick and Watson collaborated at Cambridge University — but they weren’t the only scientists thinking about DNA. Several other groups also recognized that the three-dimensional structure of DNA was within reach, so the competition was stiff. Linus Pauling, a soon-to-be Nobel Prize winner who had already solved a complicated molecular structure found in proteins, led one of the groups working to identify DNA’s structure. The number of people investigating the problem made it a race right from the beginning. The edges of the puzzle were laid out — but who would be the first to fill in all the pieces?