Google Doodle Commemorates Dorothy Hodgkin 104th Birthday

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By Ma Evelyn Castino Quilas | May 12, 2014 1:10 PM EST

In remembering of the life and legacy of the British Chemist Dorothy Hodgkin's 104th birthday, Google treats visitors with doodle on atomic and molecular structure of a crystal.

The inspirational Google doodle is based on the protein x-ray crystallography for the molecular model of penicillin which the scientist completed in 1945. The doodle can be viewed from the search engine giant's homepage for the countries in U.S., UK, Canada, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Japan, the Philippines, Kenya, Taiwan, India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

According to Nobel Media, Hodgkin was born on May 12, 1910. She was the daughter of an archaeologist father and botanist mother. She developed her interest in chemistry and in crystals at an early age of 10.

She studied in Oxford and Somerville College from 1928-32 where she analyzed glass tesserae. She also took up a special course in crystallography and conducted research in x-ray crystallography. She spent most of her working life as official fellow and tutor in Natural Science at Somerville where she taught chemistry for the women's colleges.

One of her major contributions to chemistry was the research on penicillin which began in 1942 during the war and on Vitamin B12 in 1948. She was awarded as the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work on Vitamin B12.

She was also instrumental to the formation of the International Union of Crystallography foundation. She traveled to various countries like China, U.S. and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (now Russia) for scientific purposes.

Hodgkin was also the first woman awarded with the Copley Medal. In 1965, she was also awarded the "Order of Merit," the second woman after Florence Nightingale to receive the prestigious award.  

In 1937, she married Thomas Hodgkin whose main interest was the history and politics of Africa and the Arab world. They had three children and three grandchildren who now lived on different locations across the world.

Aside from Hodgkin, Google doodle has proactively featured scientists and achievers over the last decade to commemorate their achievements.

Among the other scientists featured are chemist Percy Julian, whose research of plants led to discoveries like cortisone, and the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe.

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