Linus Pauling: Then Warren Weaver said, "the Rockefeller Foundation isn't really interested in the
sulfide minerals, what we are interested in is biology." So that sank in for a while...
I remember those beautiful red crystals of hemoglobin, and in fact I had written a
paper on the sigmoid equilibrium constant of hemoglobin with oxygen -- a theoretical
paper. That was my beginning in the protein field.
So I had an idea, and I applied for a grant to study the magnetic properties of hemoglobin.
This was eighty-seven years, I think, after the last work had been done. Faraday
wrote in his diary, "Have measured the magnetic susceptibility of old dried blood.
Must try recent fluid blood." So, we got the grant. And Charles Coryell and I borrowed
an old discarded balance from the sophomore analytical lab and drilled a hole in it
and hung a tube from it; borrowed a magnet from Mt. Wilson Observatory, and measured
the susceptibility of hemoglobin. Venous blood and arterial blood. And to our astonishment
there was a big difference in susceptibility; magnetic properties of venous blood
and arterial blood. Very interesting consequences of the magnetic properties significance
for the structure of hemoglobin.
Creator: Linus Pauling Associated: Warren Weaver, Michael Faraday, Charles Coryell Clip ID: 1983v.1-earlywork
Creator: Linus Pauling Associated: University of California, Berkeley