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For a Few Million, Buy Watson's Nobel

James Watson's Nobel Prize is expected to fetch up to $3.5 million at a Christie's auction early next month, Reuters reports.

Watson received the Nobel in 1962 along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins for their work uncovering the double helix structure of DNA. This is, Reuters says, the first time the Nobel of a living recipient has gone up for sale.

The expected sale price "is recognition of probably the most significant scientific breakthrough of the 20th century and the impact of it is only being played out now in the 21st century," Francis Wahlgren, international head of books and manuscripts at Christie's, tells Reuters. "Whole industries have developed around it."

Also at auction are some of Watson's notes for his acceptance speech as well as a draft and manuscript of his Nobel address, Reuters adds.

Crick's Nobel was auctioned last year for $2.27 million, and a letter he wrote to his son that described the structure of DNA was sold for $6 million, three times more than expected.

The proceeds from the sale of Watson's Nobel are to go toward charity and scientific research, Reuters says.