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  1. Filmography
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  3. Rosalind Franklin: A Crucial Contribution | Learn Science at Scitable
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If you don't know anything about programming, you can start at the Python Village. For a collection of exercises to accompany Bioinformatics Algorithms book, go to the Textbook Track. Otherwise you can try to storm the Bioinformatics Stronghold right now.


It appears that your browser has JavaScript disabled. Rosalind requires your browser to be JavaScript enabled. Python Village. If you are completely new to programming, try these initial problems to learn a few basics about the Python programming language. You'll get familiar with the operations needed to start solving bioinformatics challenges in the Stronghold.

Crick and Watson then published their model in Nature on 25 April in an article describing the double-helical structure of DNA with only a footnote acknowledging "having been stimulated by a general knowledge of" Franklin and Wilkins' "unpublished" contribution.

As a result of a deal struck by the two laboratory directors, articles by Wilkins and Franklin, which included their X-ray diffraction data, were modified and then published second and third in the same issue of Nature , seemingly only in support of the Crick and Watson theoretical paper which proposed a model for the B form of DNA.

Weeks later, on 10 April, Franklin wrote to Crick for permission to see their model. She is reported to have commented, "It's very pretty, but how are they going to prove it? As such, her response to the Watson—Crick model was in keeping with her cautious approach to science. At first mainly geneticists embraced the model because of its obvious genetic implications. Franklin left King's College London in mid-March for Birkbeck College , in a move that had been planned for some time and that she described in a letter to Adrienne Weill in Paris as "moving from a palace to the slums Her new laboratories were housed in 21 Torrington Square, one of a pair of dilapidated and cramped Georgian houses containing several different departments; Franklin frequently took Bernal to task over the careless attitudes of some of the other laboratory staff, notably after workers in the pharmacy department flooded her first-floor laboratory with water on one occasion.

Blood on my hands

Despite the parting words of Bernal to stop her interest in nucleic acids, she helped Gosling to finish his thesis, although she was no longer his official supervisor. Despite the ARC funding, Franklin wrote to Bernal that the existing facilities remained highly unsuited for conducting research " Her meeting with Aaron Klug in early led to a longstanding and successful collaboration. They soon discovered published in that the covering of TMV was protein molecules arranged in helices.

In he and Franklin published individual but complementary papers in the 10 March issue of Nature , in which they showed that the RNA in TMV is wound along the inner surface of the hollow virus. In her research grant from ARC expired, and was given a one-year extension ending in March Her materials included table tennis balls and plastic bicycle handlebar grips.

In , Franklin visited the University of California, Berkeley , where colleagues had suggested her group research the polio virus. She obtained Bernal's consent in July , though serious concerns were raised after she disclosed her intentions to research live, instead of killed, polio virus at Birkbeck. Eventually, Bernal arranged for the virus to be safely stored at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine during the group's research.

With her group, Franklin then commenced deciphering the structure of the polio virus while it was in a crystalline state. She attempted to mount the virus crystals in capillary tubes for X-ray studies, but was forced to end her work due to her rapidly failing health. After Franklin's death, Klug succeeded her as group leader, and he, Finch and Holmes continued researching the structure of the polio virus. They eventually succeeded in obtaining extremely detailed X-ray images of the virus.

In June , Klug and Finch published the group's findings, revealing the polio virus to have icosahedral symmetry, and in the same paper suggested the possibility for all spherical viruses to possess the same symmetry, as it permitted the greatest possible number 60 of identical structural units. Franklin was best described as an agnostic. She developed her scepticism as a young child. Her mother recalled that she refused to believe in the existence of God , and remarked, "Well, anyhow, how do you know He isn't She?

Science, for me, gives a partial explanation of life I do not accept your definition of faith i. Your faith rests on the future of yourself and others as individuals, mine in the future and fate of our successors.

Rosalind Franklin: A Crucial Contribution | Learn Science at Scitable

It seems to me that yours is the more selfish A creator of what? I see no reason to believe that a creator of protoplasm or primeval matter, if such there be, has any reason to be interested in our insignificant race in a tiny corner of the universe. However, she did not abandon Jewish traditions. As the only Jewish student at Lindores School, she had Hebrew lessons on her own while her friends went to church. Franklin loved travelling abroad, particularly trekking. She first "qualified" at Christmas for a vacation at Menton , France, where her grandfather went to escape English winter.

A trip to France in gave her a lasting love for France and its language.

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She considered the French lifestyle at that time as "vastly superior to that of English". She slipped off on a slope, and was barely rescued. I love the people, the country and the food.

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  • She made several professional trips to US, and was particularly jovial among her American friends and constantly displayed her sense of humour. William Ginoza of the University of California, Los Angeles later recalled that she was the opposite of Watson's description of her, and as Maddox comments, Americans enjoyed her "sunny side". He paints a sympathetic but sometimes critical portrait of Franklin. He praises her intellect and scientific acumen, but portrays her as difficult to work with and careless with her appearance.

    After introducing her in the book as "Rosalind," he writes that he and his male colleagues usually referred to her as "Rosy", the name people at King's College London used behind her back. In the family, she was called "Ros". She made it clear to an American visiting friend Dorothea Raacke, while sitting with her at Crick's table in The Eagle pub in Cambridge: Raacke asked her how she was to be called and she replied "I'm afraid it will have to be Rosalind", adding "Most definitely not Rosy.

    She often expressed her political views. She initially blamed Winston Churchill for inciting the war, but later admired him for his speeches. She actively supported Professor John Ryle as an independent candidate for parliament in , but he was unsuccessful. She did not seem to have an intimate relationship with anyone, and always kept her deepest personal feelings to herself. After her younger days, she avoided close friendship with the opposite sex.

    Once her cousins visited them, she paid Roland to accompany them. Franklin once told Evi that her flatmate asked her for a drink, but she did not get the intention.

    But Mering wept when he visited her later, [] and destroyed all her letters. Her closest personal affair was probably with her once post-doctoral student Donald Caspar. In , she visited him at his home in Colorado after her tour to University of California, Berkeley , and she was known to remark later that Caspar was one "she might have loved, might have married". In her letter to Sayre, she described him as "an ideal match".

    In mid, while on a work-related trip to the United States, Franklin first began to suspect a health problem. While in New York she found difficulty in zipping her skirt; her stomach had bulged. Back in London she consulted Mair Livingstone, who asked her, "You're not pregnant? These included Anne Sayre , Francis Crick, his wife Odile, with whom Franklin had formed a strong friendship, [] and finally with the Roland and Nina Franklin family where Rosalind's nieces and nephews bolstered her spirits. Franklin chose not to stay with her parents because her mother's uncontrollable grief and crying upset her too much.

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    • Even while undergoing cancer treatment, Franklin continued to work, and her group continued to produce results — seven papers in and six more in On 2 December, she made her will. The remainder of the estate was to be used for charities. She returned to work in January , and she was given a promotion to Research Associate in Biophysics on 25 February. Exposure to X-ray radiation is sometimes considered to be a possible factor in her illness. Other members of her family have died of cancer, and the incidence of gynaecological cancer is known to be disproportionately high among Ashkenazi Jews.

      The inscription on her tombstone reads: [] []. King's College London as an institution, was not distinguished for the welcome that it offered to women Fell , Director of Strangeways Laboratory , supervised the biologists".

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      Sayre states "that while the male staff at King's lunched in a large, comfortable, rather clubby dining room" the female staff of all ranks "lunched in the student's hall or away from the premises". Sayre also discusses at length Franklin's struggle in pursuing science, particularly her father's concern about women in academic professions.

      A good deal of information explicitly claims that he strongly opposed her entering Newnham College. Sexism is said to pervade the memoir of one peer, James Watson, in his book The Double Helix published 10 years after Franklin's death and after Watson had returned from Cambridge to Harvard.

      Rosalind Franklin

      Glynn accuses Sayre of making her sister a feminist heroine, [] and Watson's The Double Helix as the root of what she calls "Rosalind Industry". She conjectures that these alleged sexism stories would "have embarrassed her [Rosalind Franklin] almost as much as Watson's account would have upset her", [] and declared that "she was never a feminist. Franklin's letter to her parents in January is often taken as reflecting her own prejudiced attitude and that she was "not immune to the sexism rampant in these circles.

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      It was more of an admiration because at the time woman teachers of science were a rarity.