Google Doodle Celebrates Rosalind Franklin

Her x-rays of DNA revealed the double-helix structure that other scientists were later credited with discovering

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Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to a game-changing scientist who was denied her rightful claim to fame until recent years. The biophysicist, who would have turned 93 today, played a key role in developing our modern understanding of DNA structure.

Franklin used x-rays to photograph DNA, and her image — Photo 51 — was used by James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins to crack the secrets of DNA’s double helix structure. Even though that picture was integral to the scientific breakthrough, only Watson, Crick and Wilkins are widely given credit for the finding that would open up new scientific fields including biotechnology and genome mapping. Franklin is often held up as the epitome of the the under-appreciated female scientist, held back by sexism.

Though the three men earned the Nobel Prize for their discovery in 1962, Franklin was not around to see if she would receive recognition. Nobel Prizes aren’t awarded posthumously, and she died in 1958 of ovarian cancer, at age 37.

MORE: Google Pays Tribute to Ada Lovelace

4 comments
Golgafrinchan_Ark_B
Golgafrinchan_Ark_B

I'm glad that Google honored Ms Franklin, but although Photo 51 is a black and white image, I would have liked to have seen more color in the illustration. It's so dull as it is and doesn't excite the imagination or inspire curiosity in the casual viewer. About 8-ish years ago, there was a "NOVA" episode about her and her discovery called "Secret of Photo 51". Although you can't watch the video online (aired too long ago), there's a site for Franklin at NOVA and a brief preview of the episode. (I haven't seen it since it first aired, but the narrator in the preview sounds like Sigourney Weaver.) Find it at: pbsDOTorg--->WGBH--->nova--->photo51 if you're interested. 

tchinnu
tchinnu

happy birthday to u..... Rosalind Franklin.  :) 


MimiKhan
MimiKhan

Happy Birthday, Rosalind Franklin.