Google devoted its doodle on Thursday to mark the 93rd birthday of Rosalind Franklin, a British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made great strides in our understanding of the molecular makeup of DNA and RNA but missed out on the Nobel Prize.
Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958 at age 37 and was ineligible for Nobel Prize nomination in 1962. The honor was bestowed on Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins based on their work contributing to the understanding of nucleic acids and not exclusively for their DNA structure discoveries. However, Crick wrote in 1961 that Franklin's data was "the data we actually used" to formulate their hypothesis on the structure of DNA.
While her exposure to X-ray radiation is sometimes linked to the illness that killed her, other members of her family have died of cancer.
Franklin's studies also contributed to the understanding of the molecular structures of viruses, coal, and graphite.