Linus Pauling and the Race for DNA: A Documentary History Narrative  
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The Race Begins
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Pauling was confident that he could solve DNA. He had already started thinking about it. The only problem would be if someone beat him to it, but he could not take the possibility very seriously. Wilkins and Franklin were at work on it - Corey, in fact, had visited Franklin's laboratory while over for the Royal Society meeting in May and had seen her excellent DNA x-ray photos - but there was no indication that either of them knew enough chemistry to be a serious threat.

If Bragg were involved, that would be a different matter. But the only indication that anyone at the Cavendish was looking at DNA came from one of Pauling's Caltech colleagues, Max Delbrück, who was in correspondence with a young postdoctoral fellow of Kendrew's, twenty-two-year-old Jim Watson. Watson had written Delbrück something about looking for a DNA model. Delbrück shared Watson's letter with Pauling.

It did not sound very serious. Although Delbrück thought Watson was promising, he had not been good enough to get admitted to Caltech when he applied for graduate work. The gentlemen at the Cavendish had, in any case, not yet beaten Pauling in any race.

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Audio Clip  Audio: Working with Delbrück on a Theory of the Gene. January 17, 1983. (1:27) Transcript and More Information

See Also: "The Nature of the Intermolecular Forces Operative in Biological Processes." 1940. 

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Max Delbrück. 1949.

Page 82
Pauling Diary: "Trips to Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, July and August 1953" July - November 1953.

"Max is rather silent, but to spend the days chewing on a problem, and writing and erasing things on the blackboard with him, is terribly exciting. He is unusually cultured by American standards. You know, most American scientists are duds; they never have read a sensible book."

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