I discovered that Rosalind Franklin and Raymond Gosling were working together on the structure of DNA, but not in collaboration
with Wilkins. Moreover, they had the best DNA preparation. This was a preparation of calf thymus NaDNA that had been given
to Wilkins some two years earlier by Rudolf Signer, of Bern, and from gels of which material Wilkins was able to draw thin,
uniform fibres showing sharp extinction between crossed polarizers. Gosling and Wilkins had obtained X-ray diffraction photographs
from these fibres indicating a high degree of crystallinity, and were a great improvement on those obtained earlier by W.
T. Astbury and Florence Bell in their pioneering studies of DNA. They achieved this by passing hydrogen through water and
then into the X-ray camera so that the fibres were kept in a moist atmosphere during the exposure.
Hugh Wilson. H. R. Wilson, "The double helix and all that," Reflections on biochemistry, TIBS 13. July 1988.
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