Raymond Gosling – Photo 51 for The Discovery of DNA

Source: The Telegraph, May 2015

Professor Raymond Gosling, who has died aged 88, was the often overlooked fifth person in the story of the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA – the key to the secret of life.

The names most commonly associated with the discovery are Francis Crick and James Watson of Cambridge University, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine with Maurice Wilkins of King’s College London. But other researchers provided the crucial data that Crick and Watson needed to make the imaginative leap to complete the big picture.

it was actually Gosling who took the vital X-ray photographs which proved to be the key in unlocking the puzzle.

A graduate student at the time, it was he, supervised by Maurice Wilkins, who in 1950 first took an X-ray photograph of a DNA fibre – the picture that inspired the young James Watson when he saw it presented by Wilkins at a conference in Naples. The more famous “Photograph 51” was taken in May 1952 and is usually described as Rosalind Franklin’s. That, too, however, was taken by Gosling.

Related resource: GenomeBiology, Apr 2013
<great read!>


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