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    Rosalind Franklin

    G Pollen

    by G Pollen

    Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25th July 1920 - 16th April 1958) was a British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal and graphite. The DNA work achieved the most fame because DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) plays essential roles in cell metabolism and genetics, and the discovery of its structure helped scientists understand how genetic information is passed from parents to children. Franklin is best known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA which led to discovery of DNA double helix. Her data, according to Francis Crick, were "the data we actually used" to formulate Crick and Watson's 1953 hypothesis regarding the structure of DNA. She died in 1958 at the age of 37 from complications arising from ovarian cancer.