Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) was a female researcher who conducted research on the structure of DNA with Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice wilkins with x-ray diffraction.
Rosalind is one person who really likes facts. He thinks logically and precisely, and is impatient with the opposite. He decided to become a scientist when he was 15 years old. He passed the entrance examination to Cambridge University in 1938.
Although his family is quite economically capable, and has a tradition of governmental office and generosity, his father does not approve of college education for women. He refused to pay for Rosalind Franklin’s school fees.
“An aunt” intervened “and stated that Rosalind must get an education, and he would bear the costs. Mrs. Franklin also sided with her until finally her father relented.
World War II occurred in Europe in 1939, and Rosalind lived in Cambridge. He graduated in 1941, and he began working with his doctorate. His work focuses on the problem of war, namely the nature of coal and wood charcoal. and how to use it efficiently.
Rosalind published 5 works in the course, before he was 26 years old. His work is still quoted today, and is the basis of research in the field of strong carbon fiber.
At the age of 26, Rosalind received a Ph.D., shortly after the war was over. He began working in X-ray diffraction, which is the process of using x-rays to make a picture of a crystallized solid. He pioneered the use of this method in analyzing complex and irregular materials, such as large biological molecules, and not only consisting of single crystals.
Rosalind spent 3 years in France, enjoying a work atmosphere, peaceful times, and French cuisine and culture. However, in 1950, he realized that if he wanted to make a scientific career in England, he would have to go back there.
Furthermore, Rosalind was invited to King’s College in London to join a group of scientists who were studying living cells. The team leader assigns him to work on DNA with graduate students. Rosalind’s assumption is that this is his own project.
One laboratory assistant, Maurice Wilkins, was on vacation at that time. And, when Rosalind returned, their relationship fell apart. Maurice assumed that Rosalind would help his work; Ftanklin believes that he will be the only person who works on deoxyri-bonucleic acid or DNA.
They have strong personality differences too; Franklin is straightforward, fast, and decisive, while Wilkins is shy, speculative and passive. This will play a role in the coming years in the DNA structure race.
Rosalind made a continuation in the x-ray diffraction technique with DNA. He took care of the tools to create a very sharp X-ray beam. He extracted DNA fibers that were better than they had been before, then arranged them in parallel bundles. And, he studied the reaction of fibers in humid conditions. All of that allows him to find important keys to the structure of DNA
Wilkins received the data, and without his knowledge, with James Watson and Francis Crick, at Cambridge University, they overtook each other in the race, then published the DNA structure proposed in March 1953.
The tense relationship with Wilkins and other aspects of King’s College (female scientists were not allowed to eat lunch in public spaces) made Rosalind look for another position. He headed his own research group at Birkbeck College London. However, the King’s Chief made him unable to examine DNA.
Rosalind continued her studies on coal and completed her DNA work. He turned his attention to the virus, and published 17 papers in 5 years. His group’s findings laid the foundation for structural virology.
During a professional visit to the United States, Rosalind developed cervical cancer. He continued to work until the next 2 years. He had 3 surgeries and experimental chemotherapy, and remission for 10 months. He worked until a few weeks before his death in 1958 when he was 37 years old.