Google doodle is celebrating the 93rd birthday of Rosalind Franklin, who is best known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA which led to the discovery of the DNA double helix.
Rosalind was born on 25 July 1920. She was a British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.
Rosalind’s DNA work achieved the most fame because DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) plays an essential role in cell metabolism and genetics, and the discovery of its structure helped her co-workers understand how genetic information is passed from parents to children.
Franklin's images of X-ray diffraction confirming the helical structure of DNA were shown to Watson without her approval or knowledge. Though this image and her accurate interpretation of the data provided valuable insight into the DNA structure, Franklin's scientific contributions to the discovery of the double helix are often overlooked.
However, her work was published third, in the series of three DNA Nature articles, led by the paper of Watson and Crick which only hinted at her contribution to their hypothesis.
After finishing her work on DNA, Franklin led pioneering work on the tobacco mosaic virus and the polio virus. She died in 1958 at the age of 37 of ovarian cancer.