Veronica Jean James entered the diffraction world in 1969 looking at the X-ray and neutron diffraction studies of a family of crystals. This work was followed by studies of the effects of diabetes on skin, hair and other tissues. Finding that the hair structure had never been solved she studied the hair of 40 mammals a published the solved structure in 1996. In the course of these studies, she observed that some cancers affected the hair structure while others did not. However the others caused changes to the pattern of skin. All these studies have shown that the various cancers can be diagnosed correctly by diffraction and the changes that occur are much earlier than seen by any other method as well as being far more accurate. Since diffraction is a physical science, if changes occur they must be real, reproducible, and exact. Veronica has retired from the University of New South Wales in1969 but has been granted a Professor at the Australian National University until 2020.