Linus Pauling and the Race for DNA: A Documentary History Narrative  
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A Model from King's College
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Although Maurice Wilkins was not inclined towards model building, and even though Rosalind Franklin was adamantly opposed to this process until one was certain of the specifics of a structure, at least one person at King's decided to give it a go. R. B. D. (Bruce) Fraser, a Ph.D. candidate, had discussed Rosalind's DNA work with her and was curious to fashion a model based upon what had been discovered thus far. This, and suppositions as to what might be found, resulted in an elementary structure which correctly predicted the helical shape, the stacked bases, and the phosphates on the outside. It also predicted 3 chains, a property that both Maurice and Rosalind were convinced was correct. This was the same mistake Linus Pauling was to make a year later.

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Members of the Medical Research Council Biophysics Research Unit. 1951.

Page 1
"The Structure of Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid." March 17, 1953.

"In 1953 Maurice [Wilkins] cabled me in Australia to write a note from him to submit to Nature setting out details of my 1951 structure, but unfortunately he never sent it off...I managed to recover a copy of the 'note that was never sent' from Maurice. Unfortunately he could not locate the diagrams and I did not make copies (remember this was before the days of photocopiers!)"

R. D. B. Fraser
October 31, 2002
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