The role James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin had in finding the struc

May 12th, 2015
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In 1962 James Watson (1928-today), Francis Crick (1916-2004), and Maurice Wilkins (1916-2004) jointly received the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for their determination in 1953 of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Because the Nobel Prize can be awarded only to the living, Wilkins's colleague Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), who died of cancer at the age of 37, could not be honored.

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The role James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin had in finding the structure of DNAIn 1962 James Watson (1928-today), Francis Crick (1916-2004), and Maurice Wilkins (1916-2004) jointly received the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for their determination in 1953 of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Because the Nobel Prize can be awarded only to the living, Wilkins's colleague Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), who died of cancer at the age of 37, could not be honored.The background for the work of the four scientists was formed by several scientific breakthroughs: the progress made by X-ray crystallographers in studying organic macromolecules; the growing evidence supplied by geneticists that it was DNA, not protein, in chromosomes that was responsible for heredity; Erwin Chargaff's experimental finding that there are equal numbers of A and T bases and of G and C bases in DNA; and Linus Pauling's discovery that the molecules of some proteins have helical shapes--arrived at through the use of atomic models and a keen knowledge of the possible disposition of various atoms.Of the four DNA researchers only Rosalind Franklin had any degr

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