ember for the study of nucleic acid in

ember 6th, 2017Maurice Wilkins was born on December 15th, 1916 at Pongaroa, New Zealand.

Wilkinsmoved to Birmingham, England and studied at King Edward’s School when he was only sixyears old. He got his degree in physics in 1938 while studying at St. John’s College inCambridge. He got his PH.D. for physics in 1940 and he studied the thermal stability of electronsthat are trapped in phosphorus and he also studied the theory of phosphorescence.

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Phosphorescence is light emitted by objects that have not been combusted or don’t have anyvisible heat. He then used his knowledge on physics to help with the problems that the militarytechnology program were facing, such as improving cathode-ray tubes in radar scanners. In1945, he became a physics professor and lecturer at St. Andrews’ University. After studyingbiophysics for his seven years there, he moved his research to King’s College in 1946. There, hebecame a member of the school’s Medical Research Council Biophysics Research Unit.

Whilepart of MRCBRU, he decided that his first priority while there was researching the effects ofultrasonic waves on human genetics. After being part of the MRCBRU for two years, he decidedto work on creating a reflection microscope for the study of nucleic acid in cells using ultravioletmicro spectrophotometric. He recruited a partner to help him research DNA, Rosalind Franklinand she was told that she would be in charge of taking x-ray pictures of DNA. Wilkins thoughtthat Franklin would be his assistant. This caused conflict between them throughout their workand if things were different, they would have been the ones who discovered DNA first.

In 1962, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with James Watson and Francis Crick for thediscovery of Deoxyribonucleic Acid, or DNA. He is not as well know by people today for thediscovery of Deoxyribonucleic Acid compared to the fame that James Watson and Francis Crickreceived. However, he did most of the work to research DNA. He did so much work, that ifFrancis and James didn’t do as much as they did, then the pair that were given praise would havebeen Rosalind Franklin and him. People would later refer to him as “The Third Man” and heeven named his own autobiography after his nickname.


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