She Made Incredible Contributions To The Study Of DNA, Including The Discovery Of DNA’s Density And That DNA Molecules Have A Helical Conformation - - illustrative purposes only

I’ve always found DNA to be one of the most fascinating parts of science. Our human DNA is what makes us who we are, and our knowledge of how it works has evolved drastically over the decades.

One of the hardworking scientists who brought us more information on DNA in the 20th century was British scientist Rosalind Franklin, who made incredible contributions to identifying and studying DNA.

Rosalind was born in London in the 1920s. She came from a prominent family, with some of her relatives working in politics and her father being a merchant banker. She attended the University of Cambridge to study physical chemistry. 

After graduating from Cambridge in 1941, working as an air raid warden, and spending time at the British Coal Utilisation Research Association during World War II, Rosalind went on to receive her doctorate in 1945.

Rosalind studied X-ray technology for three years in Paris and then began working at the Biophysical Laboratory at King’s College in London as a research fellow in 1951.

At this time, there was very little information on DNA, which Rosalind chose to study using some of the X-ray technology and techniques she picked up.

During her time at King’s College, Rosalind fascinatingly discovered the density of DNA. Furthermore, she learned that DNA molecules were in a helical conformation.

She also noticed that when DNA fibers experienced humidity at 75%, they appeared long and thin, but when they were drier, they looked short and fat.

In 1952, Rosalind used X-ray diffraction to capture an image of a DNA fiber, which revealed it had a three-dimensional structure. – – illustrative purposes only

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