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Rosalind Franklin Essay

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“When Watson came calling in January 1953, Wilkins revealed he had been quietly coping Franklin’s data. ” When Watson saw one of the photos, his mouth fell open. Ultimately, trial and error produced a working model of DNA, but the information they used was based on Franklin’s data. “It was March 7, 1953 that Cricke announced to the patrons of a local pub, that he and his confrere had found ‘the secret of life. ‘” (Parshall, 173) Soon after, the results were published into an article in Nature, along with a supporting article from Franklin.

(Maisel, 1)

Rosalind Franklin continued her previous work. She collaborated on studies of the structure of the tobacco Mosaic Virus and also helped determine that RNA is a single-stranded helical molecule. (Sayre, 1) While on a visit to the United States later in life, she experienced episodes of pain in her abdomen. In the autumn of 1956, she learned she had ovarian cancer. Franklin continued her research up until only a few weeks before her death on April 16, 1958 at the age of 37.

(Sayre, 1) The Nobel Prize was awarded to Watson and Cricke, in 1962.

Rosalind Franklin never received credit for the work she had accomplished with the structure of DNA. This prestigious award it cannot be given to the dead. Ironically Wilkins was also awarded for his collaboration with Watson and Cricke. “The Nobel Committee credited him with Franklin’s stellar work as well as his own. ” (Parshell, 74) In Crick’s view, “If Franklin had lived, it would have been impossible to give the prize to Maurice and not to her, because she did the key experimental work. ” (Write, 172) Even though Rosalind Franklin is no longer alive, research continues due to her previous work.

If the structure of DNA had not been discovered, biotechnology would not be where it is today. By 1952 it was known the DNA had an exclusive role, as the substance capable of storing all the information needed to create a living being. It is considered to be the fine line between the living and the nonliving. Watson went on to teach at Harvard and eventually headed the National Institutes of Health’s Human Genome project. This Project was begun with the intention of mapping out every gene in a human, and eventually learn their functions. This is where the field of bioethics is introduced.

Many beneficial things may result from this knowledge. For example, with this information we may be able to cure many diseases and birth defects. Studying how the DNA is altered to cause these conditions will help scientist develop what is necessary to prevent these things. This project was recently completed which caused the public to question where the line must be drawn. With this new information, a couple may be able to pre-select the gender of their baby or maybe even certain traits. The new question is, “When has science gone too far?

” Even though the mapping of the human genome may bring enormous benefits, it can be assumed that someone will want to abuse this new knowledge. As always we must accept the good with the bad. Discovering the structure of DNA and thus how it is able to replicate has also made cloning possible. This was demonstrated with the sheep named Dolly. It was cloned using DNA extracted from an adult sheep and inserted into an unfertilized egg. This process could be very beneficial in the future. We may be able to keep certain species from becoming extinct. As with any other situation, there is also a negative side.

What if people want to clone themselves? (As pictured in the movie Multiplicity) There is a fine line between what is ethical and can be allowed and what cannot. For example, it would be unethical for people to continue to clone themselves in an effort to elude death. (Assuming this would be possible. ) Would it be unethical the clone in order to produce needed tissues or a certain blood type? Without Rosalind Franklin’s work, this information would not have been discovered for at least several years until the technology caught up with the project.

It is because of her work that we may one day be able to cure birth defects, cancer, or other genetically related diseases. Unfortunately she has not received the recognition she deserves for her contributions to the scientific field. She spent most of her short-lived life working in the laboratory and most biology classes do not attribute any of her hard work to her. She has greatly impacted the world and everyone’s future. Stephanie Luchenfield 1. Were there any parts of the Paper that need to be more clearly explained? (ie scientific terms)?

I am familiar with scientific terms so I understood what you were talking about. 2. Did it adequately explain why she was such an important person in history? Yes 3. Was it easy to follow? I found a lot of it hard to follow mainly because there were some parts that felt like I was reading a textbook. 4. What was your favorite part of the paper? I liked the part when you really explain the cloning process on regular terms by related what you were talking about with the sheep and the movie. . It was also where she “crossed paths” with Maurice Wilkins. (maire, 1).

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