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Who is Rosalind Franklin Born on July 25 1920 in London England Rosalind Elise Franklin was a catalyst to many other scientists in the field of genetics Using coal and carbon as subjects Franklin discovered the double helix of DNA the shape that two linear strands of DNA assume when bonded together In 1945 Franklin received her Ph D in physical chemistry from Cambridge University The next year she went to Paris and worked in the Laboratoire Central des Services Chimiques de LEtat until 1950 where she concentrated her studies on x-ray diffraction methods In 1951 Franklin returned to England to work as an associate to John Randall at Kings College While Maurice Wilkins a scientist was away Franklin was put in charge of his DNA project Wilkins returned to think that Franklin was a lowly technical assistant mainly because of the discrimination against women at that time During her studies Franklin took pictures of the DNA structure using her own technique discovering a helical structure Through this technique Franklin discovered that there were two types of DNA dry A-form and wet b-form B-form being the DNA that exist within our bodies She also located the position of phosphate sugars in DNA With this technique the locations of atoms can be precisely mapped by looking at the crystal under an x-ray beam How X-Rays work Unfortunately unlike with visible light there is no known way to focus x-rays with a lens This causes an x-ray microscope to be impossible to use unless someone finds a way of focusing x-rays So it is necessary to use crystals to diffract x-rays and create a diffraction pattern Crystals are important because by definition they have a repeated unit cell within them The x-ray diffraction from one unit cell would not be significant Fortunately the repetition of unit cells within a crystal amplifies the diffraction enough to give results that can turn into a
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