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Science

DNA

The discovery of DNA

X-ray of DNA

X-ray diffraction photograph of DNA

Throughout the 20th century, many scientists have tried to study deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). In the early 1950s two scientists, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, studied DNA using x-rays.

Franklin produced an x-ray photograph that allowed two other researchers, James Watson and Francis Crick to work out the 3D structure of DNA. The structure of DNA was found to be a double helix.

In 1962 Crick and Watson, along with Wilkins, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery. Rosalind Franklin had died four years earlier and her pivotal contribution wasn't acknowledged until much later.

DNA

DNA double helix

Back to The building blocks of cells index

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