New Delhi: Google celebrates British biophysicist and x-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin’s 93rd birthday with a doodle. Honouring her contribution to our understanding of the molecular structure of DNA, the doodle contains an image of her and the DNA double helix. Born into an influential Jewish family in London in 1920, Franklin showed exceptional academic abilities from early childhood. She later studied chemistry in Cambridge and worked as a research associate at King’s College London in the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Biophysics Unit under Maurice Wilkins.
Francis Crick and James Watson used her experimental data to build their structure of DNA in 1953. They were later awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1962 along with Wilkins.
Franklin’s contributions to the discovery of the double helix were overlooked but Crick later admitted that her data were “the data we actually used” to formulate their hypothesis. Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958.
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