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Rosalind Franklin's 93rd birthday: Discovery of the DNA molecular structure

Rosalind Franklin's 93rd birthday: Discovery of the DNA molecular structure

Google is commemorating British scientist Rosalind Franklin's 93rd birthday with a doodle on its home page.

Rosalind Franklin (full name Rosalind Elsie Franklin) was born on July 25, 1920 in London. She contributed to the discovery of the molecular structure of the DNA. She graduated in physical chemistry from Newnham College in Cambridge. During the World War II she served as a air raid warden while conducting research in physical chemistry at Cambridge on a fellowship.

After the war she joined the British Coal Utilisation Research Association. She received a doctorate from Cambridge in 1945. Working at the State Chemical Laboratory in Paris from 1947 to 1951, she studied X-ray diffraction technology and when she joined the Biophysical Laboratory at King's College, London she applied X-ray diffraction methods to the study of DNA.

It was work in making clearer X-ray patterns of DNA molecules that laid the foundation for James Watson and Francis Crick to discover the double-helix polymer structure of DNA.

Rosalind Franklin's contribution to DNA research was cut short by her untimely death from cancer on April 16, 1958. She was only 38.

Google is commemorating the British scientist's 93rd birthday with a doodle on its home page.

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first published:July 25, 2013, 08:27 IST