Article ID: CBB000850403

After the Double Helix: Rosalind Franklin's Research on Tobacco mosaic virus (2008)

unapi

Rosalind Franklin is best known for her informative X-ray diffraction patterns of DNA that provided vital clues for James Watson and Francis Crick's double-stranded helical model. Her scientific career did not end when she left the DNA work at King's College, however. In 1953 Franklin moved to J. D. Bernal's crystallography laboratory at Birkbeck College, where she shifted her focus to the three-dimensional structure of viruses, obtaining diffraction patterns of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) of unprecedented detail and clarity. During the next five years, while making significant headway on the structural determination of TMV, Franklin maintained an active correspondence with both Watson and Crick, who were also studying aspects of virus structure. Developments in TMV research during the 1950s illustrate the connections in the emerging field of molecular biology between structural studies of nucleic acids and of proteins and viruses. They also reveal how the protagonists of the race for the double helix continued to interact personally and professionally during the years when Watson and Crick's model for the double-helical structure of DNA was debated and confirmed.

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Description On Franklin's work in J. D. Bernal's crystallography laboratory at Birkbeck College after 1953.


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Authors & Contributors
Chadarevian, Soraya de
Agnes Bolinska
Di Mauro, Marco
Naddeo, Adele
Martin, Joseph D.
Wendler, Reinhard
Journals
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science
The Chemical Educator
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Publishers
Greenwood Press
Alfred A. Knopf
Concepts
Molecular biology
DNA; RNA
Genetics
Discovery in science
Microbiology
Biology
People
Watson, James Dewey
Crick, Francis
Franklin, Rosalind
Robert S. Edgar
Wilkins, Maurice Hugh Frederick
Mendel, Gregor Johann
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
21st century
20th century, early
Places
England
United States
Great Britain
Institutions
Hughes Aircraft Company
Rutgers University
Human Genome Project
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