Cast of Photograph 51, 2013.
Photo by Andry Laurence.
Why was uncovering the structure of DNA so important? In biology, they say “form fits function,” meaning that the structure of a molecule determines how that molecule behaves. Since DNA serves as a blueprint for all life, determining the structure was critical in unlocking a new ability to understand the world. You can learn more about how to read Rosalind’s photograph, which provided the first substantial evidence of a double helical structure, here.
If you want more information on the history of the race, take a look at the PBS NOVA special.