Who discovered the molecular structure of DNA?
Along with her colleagues Watson and Crick, Rosalind Franklin used her expertise with x-ray technology to examine DNA. In doing this, she discoved that DNA has a double helix pattern. However, she died before the work was fully recognized and did not recieve the Nobel Prize for her work, unlike Watson and Crick.
It was Rosalind Franklin’s X ray diffraction image of DNA which led to an eureka moment in history of molecular biology: Watson and Crick interpreted from this image that DNA is a double helix.
- Rosalind was the first worker to claim that DNA exists in two molecular forms: type A and type B.
- She was the first person to understand that external side of the molecular DNA has phosphate backbone.
- Rosalind could understand from X ray diffraction image of B-DNA that the molecule is in the shape of a spiral, but she was not sure whether it was a double helix.
Franklin was working with an earned fellowship in King’s College, London during early 1950s when she developed fine images of molecules by using X ray diffraction method.
Unfortunately, she had to leave all her findings and data with co-worker Maurice Wilkins, when she shifted to Birkbeck College in 1953. There was very muted acknowledgement of her contribution when Watson and Crick published their double helical model of B-DNA in Nature (April, 1953). Their model was entirely based on Rosalind’s findings.