Brenda Maddox Book Review: "Rosalind Franklin: the dark lady of DNA"

According to Rosalind Franklin’s great-grandfather, he was descended from David, king of Israel, 945 BC. Born in 1920, Franklin rose to fame on the world stage in the mid-20th century. Rosalind Franklin, credited biographically by noted writer Brenda Maddox, was the true mastermind behind the discovery of the structure of DNA.

Rosalind, the foremost crystallographer, originally photographed a strand of DNA, after many attempts, leading to the prestigious Nobel Prize awarded to Crick and Watson. Needless to say, they would not have been successful without your contribution; And it goes without saying that they forgot to mention his contribution in the presentation of his paper and the physical model of deoxyribonucleic acid.

A precocious child, Rosalind never gave up in pursuit of knowledge and advancement beyond her peers. Always, he strived to excel in academia, science, and industry, and received top marks in all academic courses and scientific endeavors. Although she was a very beautiful woman, her quest for excellence left little time for romantic ties with the many men associated in scientific circles. While she met an impressive array of intellectuals and people with scientific (and romantic) leanings, she did not marry and died alone at age 37. Many men wept over her disappearance, acknowledging the difficulties endured, the lack of recognition, and the short life of an attractive and extremely bright Hebrew woman, mathematician, crystallographer, and biochemist. She rose to excellence despite outright anti-Semitism and opposition to empowered women – she grew up in an age when women weren’t allowed to vote, hold assertive positions, or do little more than raise children and housework.

Fluent in French as well as her native English, she developed an intense interest in the end of the British Mandate and the restoration of Israel to sovereignty in Palestine and was outraged by French news coverage of the transition. In correspondence with his father about an article contained in The Economisthe demanded, “Who is responsible for the article: Now there can be no settlement in Palestine of any kind, but force. “Despite her loyalty, she was out of touch with the Middle Eastern mentality and Arab resentment towards anything other than Islam; prophetically, the French article was completely correct. Sixty years later, the Arab world continues its jihad against the infidels.

Despite her optimism, Rosalind’s interest and experience lay not so much in metaphysics as in physics. Well, you could direct your interest toward the tangible; for intangible monotheism, as later demonstrated, cannot simultaneously harmonize within advanced disciplines between its three constituent branches. Because, Judaism must condemn the adoption of Christian Islam; Christianity must condemn the neglect of Islamic-Judaism to messianic recognition; and Islam must condemn Judeo-Christian ethics and values. But Rosalind was more interested in the atomic propensity than in the Gnostic proclivities at war.

When Rosalind Franklin came to King’s College in 1951, at the age of 31, she came immediately after Schrodinger’s question (the predominant question at the time) about: What is life? And his answer was: ‘life is animation of the inanimate’. Not particularly deep, but a touchstone of the time.

In the developmental years of particle physics, Einstein, Bohr (and many others) slow down their experience through relativity and quantum mechanics, giving a breakthrough to molecular science and the biochemistry industry. Immediately, geneticists discovered twenty different protein molecules present in living things. In addition, they found four proteins that are only found in DNA sequences, in varying combinations called nucleotides: two purines (adenine and guanine) and two pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine). We could produce a clearer compound if we said that each of the four nucleotides contains a sugar, a phosphate, and a base; And we might add, these nucleotides direct all aspects of DNA (body) function. We give the atomic structure of cytosine as an example of constitutive simplicity: C4H5N3O (the other three have C5 and other variant elements).

Great strides were made when Rosalind Franklin came to King’s College. By the 1940s, ‘atomic fission’ and ‘hydrogen fusion’ had already been perfected. In 1944, Avery wrote an article that proved that the carrier of the genetic message was DNA and not simply a protein; In 1949, Chargaff determined the frequency and propensity for nucleotide repetition. In the immediate aftermath of the advancements of the first half of the century, Rosalind spent long hours perfecting X-ray diffraction techniques, exposing her body to excessive amounts of radiation in the process. Therefore, we know in hindsight that crystallography was his life and the probable cause of his death. But through an unrivaled spectrographic technique, he extracted images of DNA and allowed others to race against the clock and claim the coveted Nobel Prize. Among many of her scientific breakthroughs, Rosalind’s greatest success was DNA imaging.

Brenda Maddox writes a tragic but well-deserved story of extraordinary intelligence, tireless dedication, and perseverance. Rosalind Franklin was one in a million. I read this book almost from cover to cover. I couldn’t put it aside. He specialized in both Physics and Metaphysics when it comes to the origins and destiny of our species.

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