Rosalind's Fancy

DNA day

Apr 25

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

“We wish to discuss a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid. (D.N.A.). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biologic interest.”

~ Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)

DNA Day commemorates that day in 1953 when James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and colleagues published papers in the journal Nature on the structure of DNA. This dance contains not only the "double helix" DNA figure (for two sets of two couples), but the "Rose progression" figure as a namesake nod for Rosalind herself. Although her works on coal and viruses were appreciated in her lifetime, Rosalind Franklin's contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA have been largely recognised posthumously. ⚛️

Rosalind's Fancy

Rosalind's Fancy, devised by Anselm Lingnau, is dedicated to the memory of Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958), English chemist and X-ray crystallographer who made contributions to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), virusescoal, and graphite.

Franklin is best known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA while at King's College, London, which led to the discovery of the DNA double helix for which James WatsonFrancis Crick and Maurice Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962. Watson has since suggested that Franklin would have ideally been awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with Wilkins, but the Nobel Committee does not make posthumous nominations.

In molecular biology, the term double helix refers to the structure formed by double-stranded molecules of nucleic acids such as DNA. The term entered popular culture with the publication in 1968 of The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, by James Watson.

See below and click on the famous Photograph 51,  the nickname given to an X-ray diffraction image of DNA taken by Raymond Gosling in May 1952, working as a PhD student under the supervision of Rosalind Franklin, at King's College London in Sir John Randall's group.  This provided critical evidence in identifying the structure of DNA.

Rosalind's Fancy
Rosalind's Fancy

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