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Google marks scientist Franklin's 93rd birthday with a doodle
Google has commemorated DNA scientist Rosalind Franklin's 93rd birthday today with a doodle on its homepage. In the doodle, the second 'o' in the word Google contains Franklin's image, while 'l' has been replaced with the DNA double helix.

Rosalind Franklin was a British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who was central to the discovery of DNA's structure. She was born in Notting Hill, London on July 25, 1920. Currently, in bio-chemistry, DNA's double-stranded helix, which coils and supercoils on itself to form dense chromosomes, is considered to be an iconic image.

In a short span of her career, Franklin made many noteworthy contributions to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal and graphite. She died from ovarian cancer at a young age of 37 years in 1958.

She missed the Nobel Prize in 1962 because her recognition as a co-discoverer of the structure of DNA was accorded after the award was given to Wilkins, Crick and Watson.

It is said that right from her early childhood, Franklin showed exceptional scholastic abilities and excelled in science during her school days. She had her higher education at Newnham College, Cambridge. She studied chemistry and keenly learnt spectroscopic procedures to study crystals.

It was in 1951; Franklin started working as a research associate at King's College London in the Medical Research Council's Biophysics Unit. As experienced experimental diffraction researcher, she collected enough data which was used by other scientists without acknowledging properly her contribution that led to the discovery of DNA structure.

DNA is a polymer with each nucleotide consisting of a 5-carbon sugar (deoxyribose), a nitrogen containing base attached to the sugar, and a phosphate group. There are four different types of nucleotides found in DNA, differing only in the nitrogenous base. The four nucleotides are given one letter abbreviations as shorthand for the four bases.

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