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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.

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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