Interviewer: I believe there are about two million mental defectives in the United States, and
this would account for about twenty-thousand patients having this disease. But are
you implying that you could conceivably inject a catalyst into one of these phenylketonurics
and have them oxidize phenylalanine to tyrosine?
Linus Pauling: Well, I am implying this. Two or three years ago I gave the Edsel Ford lecture in
Detroit. It was about the future of enzyme chemistry. And in this lecture I said,
if I look forward, attempt to look forward fifty years or even twenty-five years -
no fifty years is what I was talking about. Fifty years from now I think it may well
be that we shall be treating patients with phenylketonuria - children who, infants
who are born with this disease, which can be recognized shortly after birth. We shall
be treating them by sewing into a blood vessel a little capsule, open-ended tube,
containing a synthetic enzyme that will carry out the chemical reaction that they
are not able to carry out naturally because of their hereditary defect, due to the
gene mutation. Yes, I think this is the sort of progress that will be made in medicine.