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Rosalind Franklin
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Scientist
    (July 25, 1920-April 16, 1958)
    Born in Cheslea, London, United Kingdom
    Biochemist and crystallographer
    Produced x-ray diffraction images of DNA that confirmed Watson and Crick's double-helix model for the molecule
    Determined structures of the tobacco mosaic and polio viruses
    Watson called her 'impossible' and 'stubborn.'
    She rejected a suggestion by Watson and Crick that they collaborate in determining the structure of DNA.
    Regarding her colleagues at King's College, she said there was 'nobody with whom I particularly want to discuss anything, scientific or otherwise.'
    Her work with x-rays, in which she would sometimes be exposed for hours while adjusting a sample, probably contributed to the cancer that killed her.
    Her crystallography photos of DNA gave Watson and Crick important insights into the structure of DNA.
    Her colleague Maurice Wilkins showed her photos to Watson without informing her.
    Neither Watson nor Crick bothered to mention her in their Nobel Prize acceptance speeches.
    Many scientists, including Watson, have said that she would have received the Nobel Prize alongside Watson and Crick if she had lived until 1962.

Credit: C. Fishel


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