Rosalind Franklin Google Doodle

Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958) was a British X-ray crystallographer who made pioneering contributions to the understanding of the detailed molecular structures of the genetic code with her data from DNA and RNA as well as viruses, coal and graphite. She died prematurely at the age of 37 from ovarian cancer and so missed out on Nobel recognition. The Nobel committee does not make its awards posthumously and the 1962 Prize for Medicine or Physiology famously went to her colleague Maurice Wilkins and to Francis Crick and James Watson with whom the structure of DNA is somehow now synonymous.

Franklin would’ve been 91 today but as far as I can see she has not had a Google Doodle to celebrate her life. So here’s a simple montage I put together in lieu of such a doodle, showing her X-ray diffractograms and a dodgy DNA doodle. Very dodgy as it turns out, I grabbed the original from a freebie clipart page and modified it, but Nature’s Stuart Cantrill just pointed out that it’s a left-handed double helix rather than the natural right-handed form.

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2 thoughts on “Rosalind Franklin Google Doodle

  1. Crick and Watson, and Wilkins come to that, had far too much to say about Franklin’s role or otherwise. She was the one who obtained the X-ray diffractograms of crystallised DNA. I’m afraid W+C would have had absolutely nothing to work with if Franklin had not obtained that data (they couldn’t have done the XRD themselves). The fact that Wilkins allegedly leaked it to W+C so that they’d beat Linus Pauling to the structure is neither here nor there…

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