Rosalind Franklin

Google doodle honors birthday of biophysicist Rosalind Franklin

British biophysicist and X -ray crystallographer made great strides in our understanding of the molecular makeup of DNA and RNA but missed out on the Nobel Prize.

Google doodle honoring Rosalind Franklin.

(Credit: Google)

 

Google devoted its doodle on Thursday to note the 93rd birthday of Rosalind Franklin, a British biophysicist and X -ray crystallographer who made great strides in our understanding of the molecular makeup of DNA and RNA but missed out on the Nobel Prize.

British biophysicist Rosalind Franklin.

(Credit: Jewish Chronicle Archive/Heritage-Images)

Born in London on July 25, 1920, Franklin showed exceptional scholastic aptitude at an early age. After studying chemistry at Cambridge, Franklin went to work as a research associate at King's College London in the Medical Research Council's Biophysics Unit. During her tenure at King's College, she captured X-ray diffraction images of DNA that led to the discovery of the DNA's double helix. Her data was the basis for a 1953 hypothesis regarding the structure of DNA that led to the 1962 Nobel Prize.

Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958 at age 37 and was ineligible for Nobel Prize nomination in 1962. The honor was bestowed on Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins based on their work contributing to the understanding of nucleic acids and not exclusively for their DNA structure discoveries. However, Crick wrote in 1961 that Franklin's data was "the data we actually used" to formulate their hypothesis on the structure of DNA.

While her exposure to X-ray radiation is sometimes linked to the illness that killed her, other members of her family have died of cancer, suggesting the presence of gynaecological cancer.

Franklin's studies also contributed to the understanding of the molecular structures of RNA, viruses, coal and graphite.

 

For more details http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57595418-93/google-doodle-honors-birthday-of-biophysicist-rosalind-franklin/

 

Rosalind Franklin, best known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA which led to the discovery of the DNA double helix, is the subject of Thursday's Google doodle on the occasion of her 93rd birthday.

Franklin was born in Notting Hill, London on 25th July 1920. Her father was Ellis Arthur Franklin, a London merchant banker, and her mother was Muriel Frances Waley. Rosalind was the second child of the family of five children. From early childhood, Franklin showed exceptional scholastic abilities and it was no surprise when she went up to Newnham College, Cambridge, in 1938 and studied chemistry within the Natural Sciences Tripos.

After finishing her eduction, she met  the requirements of the National Service Act by working as an Assistant Research Officer at the British Coal Utilisation Research Association (BCURA).  Her work with BCURA became the basis of her thesis The physical chemistry of solid organic colloids with special reference to coal for which Cambridge University awarded her a Ph.D. in 1945.

However, Franklin is best known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA which led to the discovery of the DNA double helix. Her data was the one actually used by to formulate Crick and Watson's 1953 hypothesis regarding the structure of DNA. Unpublished drafts of her papers - written just as she was arranging to leave King's College London - show that Franklin had independently determined the overall B-form of the DNA helix and the location of the phosphate groups on the outside of the structure.

 

For more http://gadgets.ndtv.com/others/news/rosalind-franklins-93rd-birthday-marked-by-google-doodle-396783

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