Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Rosalind Franklin!

Check-out these five cool facts about British biophysicist, Rosalind Franklin:

1. Rosalind’s father disliked the concept of women receiving university educations, and snubbed her admittance to Cambridge. Her aunt volunteered to pay, and ultimately her father conceded.

2. As a doctoral student, she investigated methods for more efficient coal and charcoal use-a critical matter during World War II. By 26 years old, she’d published five papers about the question.

3. Rosalind’s discoveries regarding DNA’s structure, including a photograph of the DNA molecule (Photo 51), were shared without her authorization or knowledge, by associate Maurice Wilkins. The men he disclosed Rosalind’s findings to were Francis Crick and James Watson. Using her pilfered work, Crick and Watson proposed the structure of DNA and were awarded a freakin’ Nobel Prize. Wilkins got one, too…

4. Because she’d passed away from ovarian cancer in 1958, Rosalind couldn’t be nominated to share Crick, Watson, and Wilkin’s 1962 Nobel Prize. When they did acknowledge her contribution, it was via a footnote.

5. Despite her role in helping us comprehend the make-up of, oh I don’t know, DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite, her death certificate said: A Research Scientist, Spinster, Daughter of Ellis Arthur Franklin, a Banker.

Today, in celebration of Rosalind’s birthday, she was commemorated with a Google Doodle. Check it out below:

For more information visit: 

Rosalind Franklin: Dark Lady of DNA 

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