Rosalind Franklin: The Woman Who Helped Give Shape to DNA

DNA—like any good code—took quite a long time for humans to crack (and we’re still working on it). The discovery of the double helix structure of molecules in the mid-20th century is widely credited to Francis Crick and James D. Watson, but it was a breakthrough that was aided by the work of many people—perhaps most notably, a woman by the name of Rosalind Franklin.

In the TED-Ed lesson above, “Rosalind Franklin: DNA’s Unsung hero,” Cláudio L. Guerra, with the help of narrator Susan Zimmerman and animator Chris Bishop, briefly details the life and work of this often overlooked pioneer.

In short, Franklin is the person behind the X-ray image known as Photo 51—the one that helped Watson and Crick crack the structure of DNA. The pair’s groundbreaking study was published alongside Franklin’s, but they earned the lasting legacy as well as a Nobel Prize in 1962. Franklin had died of cancer before the awards were handed out, and Nobel Prizes aren’t awarded posthumously; in the years since, there’s been much debate over whether Franklin would have been included in the ceremony had she lived to see it.

There's also some lasting debate over just how much Watson and Crick owe to Franklin, and—perhaps principally—whether they stole her data. What is clear is that Franklin was an essential player in the discovery of the double helix and was right alongside her male counterparts with the analysis and findings. Her Photo 51 is what allowed the breakthrough to happen, and for that she should be remembered and celebrated. (Not to mention all the other historic work she did in her far too short life.)

[h/t The Mary Sue]

Banner image: YouTube

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The Most Popular Netflix Show in Every Country
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most popular Netflix show in each country map
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If you're bored with everything in your Netflix queue, why not look to the top shows around the world for a recommendation?

HighSpeedInternet.com recently used Google Trends data to create a map of the most popular show streaming on Netflix in every country in 2018. The best-loved show in the world is the dystopian thriller 3%, claiming the number one spot in eight nations. The show is the first Netflix original made in Portuguese, so it's no surprise that Portugal and Brazil are among the eight countries that helped put it at the top of the list.

Coming in second place is South Korea's My Love from the Star, which seven countries deemed their favorite show. The romantic drama revolves around an alien who lands on Earth and falls in love with a mortal. The English-language show with the most clout is 13 Reasons Why, coming in at number three around the world—which might be proof that getting addicted to soapy teen dramas is a universal experience.

Pot comedy Disjointed is Canada's favorite show, which probably isn't all that surprising given the nation's recent ruling to legalize marijuana. Perhaps coming as even less of a shock is the phenomenon of Stranger Things taking the top spot in the U.S. Favorites like Black Mirror, Sherlock, and The Walking Dead also secured the love of at least one country.

Out of the hundreds of shows on the streaming platform, only 47 are a favorite in at least one country in 2018. So no hard feelings, Gypsy.

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Roadside Bear Statue in Wales is So Lifelike That Safety Officials Want It Removed
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Wooden bear statue.

There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has become a cause of concern. As The Telegraph reports, the statue is so convincing that it's scaring drivers, causing at least one motorist to crash her car. Now road safety officials are demanding it be removed.

The 10-foot wooden statue has been a fixture on the roadside for at least 15 years. It made headlines in May of 2018 when a woman driving her car saw the landmark and took it to be the real thing. She was so startled that she veered off the road and into a street sign.

After the incident, she complained about the bear to highways officials who agreed that it poses a safety threat and should be removed. But the small town isn't giving in to the Welsh government's demands so quickly.

The bear statue was originally erected on the site of a now-defunct wool mill. Even though the mill has since closed, locals still see the statue as an important landmark. Llanwrtyd Wells councilor Peter James called it an "iconic gateway of the town," according to The Telegraph.

Another town resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph that the woman who crashed her car had been a tourist from Canada where bears are common. Bear were hunted to extinction in Britain about 1000 years ago, so local drivers have no reason to look out for the real animals on the side of the road.

The statue remains in its old spot, but Welsh government officials plan to remove it themselves if the town doesn't cooperate. For now, temporary traffic lights have been set up around the site of the accident to prevent any similar incidents.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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