Want to make creations as awesome as this one?




1. Introduction

2. Studies

3. Discoveries

4. Death



Rosalind Franklin was born in London on July 25, 1920. She came from a family in Poland that moved to England in the eighteenth century. Her mother, came from a religious and philanthropic Jewish family where some of its members stood out as professors, intellectuals and parliamentarians. Rosalind had four other brothers.


  • She made her first studies in Nordland Place. Then she did it at Lindores School and later at St. Paul Girl School where she was taught math, physics and chemistry. There she showed her interest in science, Latin and sports, and learned German and French. During the holidays she used to travel to other European countries.
  • After passing the entrance exam, in 1938 she entered the University of Cambridge. She studied physics and chemistry at Newnham College. She met the spectroscopist William Charles Price, who later became one of her collaborators at King's College.
  • All this indicates that Rosalind was interested in crystallography and X-ray diffraction when they crossed a crystal so that each of them leaves an identity imprint. She applied this technique to the study of matter, becoming in a short time a renowned specialist.

  • During Hitler's tenure in power she helped the German refugees who fled to Britain. The war surprised him in Norway. She returned with difficulties to England and managed to finish her studies in 1941 at the University of Cambridge.
  • She then won a scholarship to the Laboratory of Physics and Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, where the effectiveness of gas masks was studied. Rosalind studied coal, compared the density of helium and was able to finish her doctoral thesis in 1945 under the title Physical chemistry of solid organic colloids with special reference to coal.
  • In Paris she perfected her crystallography techniques. She learned to apply the method to substances that were not crystals, such as organic ones. She remained in the French capital until 1951. During this stage she published more than a dozen works.



Upon her return to England, Rosalind received the Turner and Newall scholarship. At that time they worked in the study of DNA and the arrival of Franklin was an excellent contribution.

With her techniques Franklin certified the existence of two states of DNA, A (dehydrated or dry form) and B (hydrated or wet).

At first, Franklin did not accept that Form A. Over time she obtained clear images of the structure of DNA B in May 1952. She interpreted the helical structure that contained units or blocks in each turn of the helix.

In 1953, Rosalind ended up accepting that both forms of DNA, A and B, were formed by two helices. The form here plays a vital role in how DNA works, because the double helix can be perfectly divided and then recover its shape. The first step had been taken to know the secret of life.

She wrote three papers, two of which contained a double-stranded DNA skeleton and the third spoke of the B-form of DNA.

In one of them, it was determined that the RNA virus had a helical structure and measured its parameters. She also studied poliovirus and worked with her own team funded by the Agricultural Research Council.

In 1955, Franklin published in Nature the first of her works on the tobacco mosaic virus. She soon discovered that the virus's coverage was proteins arranged in the form of a helix.

In 1960, they also managed to decipher the genetic code.




When Rosalind was in California climbing a mountain she suffered intense abdominal pain. Back in England she went to the doctor and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer . Since then she alternated research stages with stays in the hospital. She suspected that she would not have time to finish the work she had undertaken. The Royal Society commissioned him a show for the 1958 Brussels World Exposition, but she died on April 16th of that same year without giving him time to carry out the commission. Rosalind Franklin died at the young age of 37 years.




Spanish Team

Colegio San Vicente de Paúl, Benavente