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Dr Watson won the award for his ground-breaking discovery in 1953, alongside Dr Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, of the structure of DNA: the double helix.

A Nobel Prize medal has never before been offered for sale by a living recipient. The medal is estimated at $2.5-$3.5m with Dr Watson planning to use a portion of the proceeds to continue his philanthropic legacy.

The auction will take place on December 4.