Rosalind Franklin And The Double Helix Essay

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Shortly after she arrives at King’s College, Franklin immerses herself in the world of DNA. She carried out an experiment which established that DNA can exist in two distinct configurations, Form A and Form B (Elkin). She found that Form A was a drier, more crystalline variety than B, which was wetter and more commonly found in living cells. Franklin decides to focus more on the A form because it seemed to promise a greater wealth of information (NOVA). Nonetheless, she does not neglect the B form and captures numerous X-ray images of it. Curiosity was the driving force behind Franklin’s work. She spent endless hours in her laboratory snapping photos of DNA molecules, not because she sought to win a race or complete a “conquest” but because of her genuine fascination with the unknown. Perhaps this was what made her so successful. In Lynne Osman Elkin’s paper, “Rosalind Franklin and the Double Helix”, Elkin discusses the importance of Franklin’s…show more content…
This is mainly because she was never made aware that the two had utilized or even had access to Photo #51 (NOVA). Regardless, without Franklin’s B form data and especially her Photo #51, Watson and Crick would have never been able to win the “race” against Pauling. Lynne Osman Elkin writes that “On several occasions, Crick has acknowledged that the data and the conclusions in the 1952 report were essential (Elkin 44). Thus, it becomes clear that Franklin’s curiosity served as the “fuel” that drove the discovery of DNA. Her research on the A and B forms of DNA proved invaluable in correcting Pauling’s model and providing a foundation for Watson and Crick’s. However, all fuel needs a catalyst. If it were not for Watson and Crick’s ambition to be the first to discover the correct structure of the molecule, Photo #51 and the secrets that lie within it might still be tucked into Rosalind Franklin’s desk

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