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Photo 51

 Photo 51 is the name given to an X-ray diffraction image of DNA taken by Rosalind Franklin in 1952[1] that was critical evidence[2] in identifying the structure of DNA.[3] The photo was taken by Franklin while working at King's College London in Sir John Randall's group.

Additional recommended knowledge

The photo, shown to James D. Watson by Maurice Wilkins without Franklin's knowledge,[4] was the critical evidence[5] that led to the confirmation of the postulated double helical structure of DNA, published during 1953 in a series of five articles in the journal Nature.[6] Franklin and Raymond Gosling's own publication in the same issue of Nature was the first publication of this more clarified X-ray image of DNA.[7]


  1. ^ Secret of Photo 51. Nova
  2. ^ Nova
  3. ^ Watson JD, Crick FHC (1953). "A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid". Nature 171: 737–738. Full text PDF
  4. ^ "Secret of Photo 51",, 2003-04-22. Retrieved on 2007-08-04. 
  5. ^ "The instant I saw the picture my mouth fell open and my pulse began to race." -- James D. Watson (1968), The Double Helix, page 167. New York: Atheneum, Library of Congress card number 68-16217. Page 168 shows the X-shaped pattern of the B-form of DNA, clearly indicating crucial details of its helical structure to Watson and Crick.
  6. ^ Double Helix: 50 Years of DNA. Nature archives. Nature Publishing Group
  7. ^ Franklin R, Gosling RG (1953) "Molecular Configuration in Sodium Thymonucleate". Nature 171: 740–741. Full text PDF
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Photo_51". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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