Linus Pauling and the Race for DNA: A Documentary History Narrative  
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On March 12, Watson sent Delbrück a letter, illustrated with rough sketches, discussing their new model. He warned his mentor not to tell Pauling about it until they were more certain of their results, but Delbrück, never one to keep secrets, immediately passed the letter around. Pauling's mind raced as he read it. He saw immediately that the Cavendish structure was not only chemically reasonable but biologically intriguing. "The simplicity of the structural complementariness of the two pyrimidines and their corresponding purines was a surprise to me-a pleasant one, of course, because of the great illumination it threw on the problem of the mechanism of heredity," he said.

A few days after seeing Watson's letter, Pauling wrote a colleague, "You must, of course, recognize that our proposed structure is nothing more than a proposed structure. There is a chance that it is right, but it will probably be two or three years before we can be reasonably sure. . . ."

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Letter - Page 1
Letter from James Watson to Max Delbrück. March 12, 1953.

Page 1
Letter from Linus Pauling to Alexander L. Dounce. March 23, 1953.

"...the whole business was like a child's toy that you could buy at the dime store, all built in this wonderful way that you could explain in Life magazine so that really a five-year-old can understand what's going on...This was the greatest surprise for everyone."

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