The discovery of DNA

The discovery of DNA

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  • Hi, I'm Maurice Wilkins. I can't wait to get started on this project!
  • Who does this woman think she is? This is my research area. She has no business getting involved!
  • Hmm... this is a bit awkward!
  • Sorry, did no-one tell you? I'm working on DNA as well!
  • What are you waiting for? Let's publish our research before anyone else beats us to it!
  • No, we cannot publish yet. What if we are wrong? We need to check and double-check our results.
  • 1950 Wilkins starts researching and analysing images of DNA at the University of Cambridge.
  • Now that Franklin has left, maybe we can publish our research!
  • Let's go for it!
  • 1951 Franklin joins the same department, but her boss doesn't tell Wilkins that she is working on the same project. This causes tension in the department. Franklin uses Wilkins' equipment, but improves the techniques being used by Wilkins and produces a much clearer image of DNA: 'Photo 51'.
  • 1953 Watson and Crick visit Wilkins. They see Photo 51. They realise that it holds the answer to their research, and want to publish their ideas straight away. Franklin disagrees.
  • This is amazing. I can't believe we won!!
  • 1953 Franklin moves to another college. Watson and Crick publish their results as the lead paper in the journal 'Nature'. They say that their research was inspired by Franklin's work. Franklin's own research is published at the same time.
  • 1958 Franklin dies of ovarian cancer. She continued to work while receiving treatment for her illness.
  • 1962 Crick, Watson and Wilkins are awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery of DNA.
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