Rosalind Franklin, British chemist

Rosalind Franklin, British chemist

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Credit: BILL SANDERSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), British chemist and X-ray crystallographer, holding a model of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Franklin's high quality X-ray crystallography images of DNA were crucial in the discovery of the structure of the molecule by James Watson and Francis Crick. They showed that the molecule was a double helix with a sugar-phosphate backbone on the outside. The Nobel Prize for the discovery of DNA's structure was awarded to Crick, Watson and Maurice Wilkins (Franklin's colleague at King's College) after Franklin's death from ovarian cancer, and so she was ineligible for the award.

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