Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

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Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

Molecule Sculptress

There are some diseases that we must live with, called chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

Fortunately, as science progresses, people suffering from these diseases can lead a more normal life. In order to improve our knowledge, the first thing we must find out is why we suffer from these diseases.

Dorothy Hodgkin, a chemist born in Cairo (Egypt) in 1910, discovered the three-dimensional structures of many molecules with an X-ray diffraction apparatus. Some are well known, such as Cholesterol, a type of fat we worry about; penicillin, an antibiotic to treat diseases caused by bacteria; Vitamin B12, to prevent anaemia; or insulin, which was the subject of Dorothy’s main research work.

Artificial insulin is the substance needed by a patient with diabetes, so scientific knowledge about insulin is essential to understand and to fight this disease.