Biography Of Rosalind Franklin -

Biography Of Rosalind Franklin

Biography Of Rosalind Franklin


Rosalind is a British chemical scientist who played a pivotal part in the discovery of the DNA’s structure. While Nobel Prizes are not presented in the event of death but they are awarded after the Nobel Committee recognized the work she carried out between 1982 and 1962.

Franklin was born into an extremely highly connected Jewish family from London, England, in 1920. Her great-uncle had been Herbert Samuel. Herbert Samuel was the first practicing Jewish in the British cabinet. He was Home Secretary in 1916.

Rosalind was a beautiful young girl however, she was also in a fragile state of health. At an early age, she showed an acute mind and an interest in science and mathematics. It was not common for women to pursue a profession in science. There were evident and invisible obstacles to women making progress in science. Education opportunities were also restricted. Despite his doubts about his child’s career, her father took the girl to St Paul’s Girls school – one of the only schools that taught science to girls. The final exam she passed with distinction and, in 1938, she was admitted to Newnham College, Cambridge, where she was studying chemistry in the natural sciences Tripos. After three years of study, she was able to graduate however it wasn’t until 1947 that Cambridge officially reversed women’s degrees to the award of B.A.

After completing her education, Franklin worked for one year as a research assistant in the lab of Ronald Norrish of Cambridge University. After observing Norrish as too demanding and unfriendly to be around, she quit and was hired by The British Coal Research Association near Kingston Upon Thames. Her research focused on how coal permeability is affected. This research was the foundation for the Ph.D. dissertation on the physical-chemical chemistry of organic colloids. In the conflict, she was also employed for a time serving as the Air Raid Warden.

Biography Of Rosalind Franklin


Biography Of Rosalind Franklin


Following the conflict, Franklin traveled to Paris to work with Marcel Mathieu and with Jacques Mering at the Laboratoire Central des Services Chimiques de l’Etat in Paris. This was a valuable job as she was able to learn X-Ray diffraction techniques that proved to be crucial for her later DNA research.

As of 1951, Franklin was back in England with a three-year fellowship at King’s College London. She utilized her expertise in X-Ray to enhance services for students at King’s College. In collaboration with a Student, Raymond Gosling, Franklin’s meticulous and precise preparation helped her department create very impressive high-resolution photographs of DNA crystals. The photos indicated two forms of DNA: a dry “A” form as well as an emollient “B” type. The photos also suggest the existence of a helix, but some were skeptical. At a later moment, James Watson, a scientist who was working on the DNA of his family in Cambridge was shown these images and commented. “My jaw opened, and my pulse started racing.”

In the early days, several leading chemical scientists were studying DNA structure. Maurice Wilkins, Francis Crick, and James Watson worked more or in a way independently from Franklin. While they worked within the same division and in the same field There was a tense personal disagreement between Franklin and Wilkins There was a miscommunication between the two sides. In the 1953 issue of Nature, Watson and Crick released a paper on DNA’s structure; this research had been influenced by Gosling and Franklin’s Photo 51. In the same issue, Franklin and Wilkins published their DNA research.

Franklin was warier about the release of a proposed theory about DNA’s structure. She wished to see more evidence from experiments. But, Watson and Crick were more convinced that they had enough evidence to write theories about DNA. Crick declared in February 1953. that they had “found the secrets of living.” Franklin’s research, photos, and data were vital to Watson as well as Crick’s DNA theories.

“While the X-ray evidence can’t currently be considered to be direct evidence that the structure is helical, the other factors that are discussed below indicate that an existence of a structure that is helical likely.”

— Rosalind Franklin, ‘Molecular Configuration in the Sodium Thymonucleate’ Nature (25 April 1953), 171 No. 4356, 740

When she graduated in 1953 Franklin was forced to leave King’s College in 1953 to join Birbeck College (also located in London) In Birbeck was a place where she discovered facilities were not as good as King’s but she did find more freedom. Franklin also entered into a lucrative collaboration along with Aaron Klug, who was later named the primary beneficiary of her will. At King’s, she studied Tobacco Mosaic Virus and published studies about the particle structure. She also researched other viruses like the polio virus. However, the deterioration of her health led her to take a break from her job. Franklin was diagnosed with breast cancer in the year 1958.

Franklin continued to be single all of her adult life. She loved traveling abroad, particularly to France which she adored. She was agnostic but was a follower of certain Jewish practices – partly because of respect for the desires of her family. She frequently addressed letters to her dad to explain her interest in science over religion.

“Science I believe that science offers a partial explanation of the world. As that it is concerned it is built on facts, experience, and experiments.

Science is seen (or at the very least, talk about it) as an unsettling invention by a man that is a far cry from the reality of existence, and that has to be kept away from daily life. However, science and daily life are not able to be separated.”

— Rosalind Franklin (letter to father, 1940)

In the 1930s, Franklin’s family was able to take in Jewish refugees who came on the “Kindertransport” – One girl Evi Ellis stayed in Franklin’s bedroom for a couple of years.

in 1962 Francis Crick, James Watson along with Maurice Wilkins was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. James Watson said that ideally, Franklin was to have received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, however, Nobel rules didn’t allow prizes to be awarded posthumously. The year 1982 was the year that Aaron Klug, a co-worker of Franklin was awarded the prestigious award of Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for his work in the field of crystallographic electron microscopy as well as his understanding of the structure of the important biological nucleic acids-protein interactions.” This was work that Franklin was working on with Klug at the time of King’s.

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