Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA
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In March 1953 Maurice Wilkins of King's College London announced the departure of his obstructive colleague, Rosalind Franklin to rival Cavendish Laboratory scientist, Francis Crick. But it was too late. Franklin's unpublished data and crucial photograph of DNA had already been seen by her competitors at the Cambridge University lab. With the aid of these, plus their own knowledge, Watson and Crick discovered the structure of the molecule that genes are composed of - DNA, the secret of life. Five years later, after more brilliant research under Bernal at Birkbeck College, at the age of thirty-seven, Rosalind died of ovarian cancer. In 1962 Wilkins, Crick and Watson were awarded the Nobel prize for their elucidation of DNA's structure. Franklin's part was forgotten until she was caricatured in Watson's book The Double Helix. In this biography Brenda Maddox has been given unique access to Rosalind's personal correspondence and has interviewed all the principal scientists involved, including Crick, Watson and Wilkins.