F is for Rosalind Franklin – Molecular Biologist #AtoZChallenge

F is for Rosalind Franklin – Molecular Biologist

F++ A to Z of Notable Women in STEM ++

Rosalind Franklin (1920 – 1958) is best known for her participation in the research that uncovered the double helix pattern of DNA, for which James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.

Rosalind Franklin Credit: Jewish Chronicle Archive/Heritage-Images
Rosalind Franklin
Credit: Jewish Chronicle Archive/Heritage-Images

Much of the basis of understanding the structure of DNA comes from an X-ray diffraction image taken in 1952, often referred to as “Photo 51”.

X-ray diffraction image of the double helix structure of the DNA molecule, taken 1952 by Raymond Gosling, commonly referred to as "Photo 51", during work by Rosalind Franklin on the structure of DNA
X-ray diffraction image of the double helix structure of the DNA molecule, taken 1952 by Raymond Gosling, commonly referred to as “Photo 51”, during work by Rosalind Franklin on the structure of DNA

Later in life, she went on to study the molecular structure of viruses before her untimely death due to cancer at the age of 37.

Read more about Rosalind Franklin here.

See more notable women of STEM in my contribution to the April A to Z blogging challenge for 2016.

Add your own “F”-named women to the list in the comments below!

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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