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Rosalind Franklin creates Photograph 51, showing a distinctive pattern that indicates the helical shape of DNA

distinctive pattern that indicates the helical shape of DNA

Rosalind Franklin creates Photograph 51, showing a distinctive pattern that indicates the helical shape of DNA

Rosalind Franklin was born in London in 1920. Several years after graduating from Cambridge University, she studied X-ray diffraction techniques in Paris. In 1951, Franklin accepted a research scholarship at King’s College in London where Maurice Wilkins, a physicist and molecular biologist, was using X-ray crystallography to study DNA. Franklin took two sets of high-resolution photos of crystallized DNA fibers and looked at the dimensions of DNA strands, with phosphates on the outside of what appeared to be a helical structure. Franklin’s paper on her X-ray diffraction data was published in the same issue of Nature as Watson and Crick’s paper introducing their 3-D model of DNA structure.
1952