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NOVA; Secret Of Photo 51


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Secret Of Photo 51
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Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

April 2003 marks the 50th anniversary of one of science's great milestones -- the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA. This "cracking" of life's essential molecular "cookbook" was credited to three British scientists, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. But their breakthrough would have been impossible without the work of a brilliant molecular biologist and crystallographer named Rosalind Franklin. In 1962, when the three men were awarded a Nobel Prize for their discovery, Franklin's name wasn't even mentioned. Tragically, she had died of cancer, four years earlier at age 37. The cancer was probably the result of radiation exposure she suffered while taking the x-ray photographs of the DNA that were directly responsible for decoding its structure. NOVA investigates the life of Rosalind Franklin and her unsung contribution to one of science's greatest discoveries. Through eyewitness accounts and the replication and re-enactments of numerous experiments, viewers will see the tragic story of a brilliant young woman and the male-dominated race to find the scientific secret of life.



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Broadcast program

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Chicago: “NOVA; Secret Of Photo 51,” 04/16/2003, GBH Archives, accessed December 2, 2023,
MLA: “NOVA; Secret Of Photo 51.” 04/16/2003. GBH Archives. Web. December 2, 2023. <>.
APA: NOVA; Secret Of Photo 51. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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