British biophysicist and x-ray crystallographer helped discover DNA’s structure but controversially missed out on Nobel prize.
The latest Google doodle celebrates the life and work of British biophysicist and x-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, whose research led to the discovery of the structure of DNA.
Franklin was born in Notting Hill, London on 25 July 1920.
The second “o” in the doodle contains her image, while the “l” has been replaced with the DNA double helix.
Franklin also made critical contributions to our understanding of the molecular structures of RNA, viruses, coal and graphite.
She died from ovarian cancer in April 1958, aged just 37.
The scientist has perhaps become best known as “the woman who was not awarded the Nobel prize for the co-discovery of the structure of DNA”.
During her DNA research, Franklin worked at King’s College London under Maurice Wilkins.
The story goes that he took some of her x-ray crystallography images without her knowledge and showed them to his friends, Francis Crick and James Watson, who were also trying to discover the structure of DNA.
Wilkins, Crick and Watson were awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1962.[source]