The (Close) Discoverer of the Double-Helix
Her Life and Work
Rosalind Elsie Franklin was born in London on July 25th, 1920, and moved to Paris, France, where she worked with her colleague, Maurice Wilkins, on DNA.
She and her colleague consructed x-ray diffraction photos of DNA under varying degrees of humidity. During these experiments, she noticed that the DNA in the pictures were in a helix shape.
Watson and Crick
Wilkins showed James Watson the DNA photos, though this was without Franklin's consent. The pictures strongly supported Watson and Crick's hypothesis of the double-stranded helical DNA molecule, or more known as the Double-Helix DNA.
"Rosalind Franklin was only two steps away from the solution," said Francis Crick in a Nature article." She needed to realize that the two chains must run in opposite directions and that the bases, in their correct tautomeric forms, were paired together."