Rosalind Franklin Google Doodle
On Thursday July 25th 2013, the Google doodlers once again took over the search engines home page with a Rosalind Franklin Google Doodle to commemorate her 93rd Birthday. During her life, she made major contributions in the field of genetics. Franklin specialised as both a biophysicist and x-ray crystallographer. Her expertise placed her in prime position to help discover the structure of DNA, otherwise known as deoxyribonucleic acid. Despite her contributions, she controversially missed out on receiving the Nobel Prize for the efforts. Some claim that this was because the prize recipients played down her involvement in the discovery, whilst others insist she did not receive the prize as she was dead at the time, and therefore the other researchers were rewarded for the discovery. It is a little known fact that Nobel Prizes are only rewarded to living people.
Franklin was born on July 25th 1920. Her early life was spent in the Notting Hill area of London. Rosa Franklin was the second child, but first daughter, of her parents who were part of a highly respected and influential Jewish family. Her work led to her taking x-ray diffraction images of DNA. It was these images which resulted in the discovery of the DNA Double Helix. This discovery now helps scientists understand how genetic information is passed from parents to children. The discovery is one of the most crucial advances in the field which took place during the twentieth century. In addition, Franklin’s studies also greatly aided the understanding of molecular structures of viruses, RNA, graphite and coal.
She died after leading a life full of productivity aged just 37 from ovarian cancer. Her death occurred in Chelsea after a two year struggle to beat the cancer. Franklin worked at London’s King College under Maurice Wilkins whilst conducting her DNA research. Wilkins and two of his friends, Francis Crick and James Watson, received the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. At a later date, Cricks acknowledged Franklin’s contribution to the Nobel Prize winning research. He stated that the trio made use of Franklin’s images, which were “the data we actually used” in order to formulate their hypothesis regarding the structure of DNA. Before this, she received her first PHD at the University of Cambridge, after which she travelled to work in France.
Rosalind Franklin Google Doodle Logo
The Rosalind Franklin Google Doodle which appeared on the search engine’s homepage for the day featured a cartoon illustration of Franklin. The cartoon depiction of Franklin comprised the second “O” in the logo. In the cartoon depiction she is observing the DNA Double Helix. In the doodle, the double helix replaced the “L” of the Google logo. There is no doubt that the doodle is alluding to her work on X-ray diffraction images which lead to the discovery of its distinctive structure. The doodle can still be viewed by clicking here.